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ABI calls for European hurdles to be lowered

  • 18/11/2002
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Regulation reducing obstacles to doing business in Europe should be the key priority for the Europea...

Regulation reducing obstacles to doing business in Europe should be the key priority for the European Union (EU), according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

The European Issues Index, a survey conducted by the ABI, that puts forward views of chief executives of British insurance companies, found there is a strong wish to expand across Europe.

Germany is seen as the most attractive EU market. It is the second-largest insurance retail market after the UK, and is aided by its vibrant mortgage market.

However, the survey found significant obstacles to doing EU business. While 29% cited lack of access to distribution channels as the main obstacle, 22% of chief executives cited the level of regulation as their biggest hurdle.

The situation could be helped by the implementation of EU-wide solvency rules. One-third (34%) of chief executives saw this as the most-needed piece of regulation with a further 30% wanting EU-wide conduct of business rules.

Mary Francis, director general of the ABI, said: ‘The UK retail market is the largest in the EU. Our members are well-placed to seize opportunities across Europe as the single market develops, either through cross-border selling, or through subsidies. However, recent regulation from Brussels has increased the burden of regulation in the UK and across the EU without creating genuine new commercial opportunities.’


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