In or Out? Moore Stephens survey reveals that more than a third of insurance professionals are at odds with their employers over Brexit..

There have been fears looming for a while in the market over whether an exit from the EU would be harmful to the insurance industry in London. In light of the imminent referendum, Moore Stephens surveyed over 150 professionals from across the insurance market on the subject.

One of the most interesting findings of the Moore Stephen’s survey was the conflict between personal and professional opinions. It showed that 40% of employees within the insurance sector do not hold the same opinion about leaving the EU as their employers, highlighting a difference in personal and public opinion amongst the industry. 

Throughout the industry it is still widely thought that a decision for Britain to leave the EU would be detrimental to the insurance market, and many leading figures in the industry have publicly stated this view. Moore Stephens’ survey found that 60% of those asked felt that leaving would have a negative effect on the industry in Britain.

Despite this, almost half ( 46%) of those asked say their company is not currently preparing for a possible exit from the EU.There are many concerns about the implications that Brexit would have on regulation and trading.

A recently released joint position paper by a collaboration of the IUA, Lloyd’s and Fidelis Insurance stated that the negotiation of trading terms with the EU would take years if Britain was to leave. The paper also relayed beliefs that many of the 34,000 insurance jobs currently positioned in London could be at risk. If the referendum result calls for an exit it is thought that companies may migrate their operations to Europe, meaning a “real and obvious concern from across the sector that a material number of these jobs may be at risk.” Some underwriting companies are already making contingency plans to move elsewhere should Britain cease to be part of the EU.

However, it is also suggested that as 50% of business for the IUA’s members comes from the UK, it is unlikely that there would be a mass exodus from the UK. Many campaigners who want to leave the EU believe that Britain will be in a strong position to negotiate a good deal with nations still in the EU.

The CEO of the IUA, Dave Matcham, has said that if Britain was to leave then there was likely to be a two-year period of determining the UK’s relationship with the EU when many companies would have to look and re-evaluate their structure. Companies that stay in the UK following a leave vote will still be subject to EU regulatory standards, but will not have any say in how these are formed.

If the referendum does result in an exit from the EU, 38% of firms questioned by Moore Stephens are considering changing their business model and only 15% are contemplating changing the location of their jurisdiction. However, of those surveyed, 63% of firms have not prepared for an exit scenario. 

Watch out for our comment following the voting results on 23rd June 2016.