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QBE selects Brussels as location for new EU legal entity

IBR Staff Writer Published 07 June 2017

Business insurance specialist QBE is establishing a new subsidiary in Brussels, Belgium to preserve its ability to operate across the European Union (EU) after Britain leaves the EU.

The insurer said that the Belgian subsidiary will help it in retaining its ability to do business throughout the EU in the eventuality of Britain losing passporting rights after its exit.

The company's European operations unit will continue to be headquartered in London while the new Belgian subsidiary is set to become operational for 2019 renewals.

QBE European operations CEO Richard Pryce said: “Our priority is providing certainty for our customers and staff, and our decision to set up a legal entity in Belgium ensures we can provide continuity of service irrespective of the outcome of Brexit negotiations.

“From the perspective of our customers, broker partners and staff it will be business as usual, with QBE continuing to operate from and across mainland Europe.”

Through the new subsidiary, QBE expects to provide support to brokers and customers in the EU from its presently established offices across eight countries in Europe.

Besides, the Belgian subsidiary will also take care of the European business that is currently placed in the London market.

The insurer already has an established footprint in Belgium through a branch in Brussels. This, it said was one main reason why it chose Belgium for the new subsidiary to handle the European business post Brexit alongside the country’s central location and political role in the EU.

The existing talent in its Brussels office will be entrusted with key roles in the newly formed subsidiary according to Pryce.

Last month, QBE European Operations had announced a new underwriting structure which would result in the merger of its underwriting divisions into a single new underwriting entity, aimed at creating a Brexit friendly structure.


Image: QBE Insurance tower in Manila, Philippines. Photo: courtesy of Hans Olav Lien/Commons.wikimedia.org.