Insurer announces plan to move to Netherlands

Brit Insurance has cited the UK’s high taxes as its reason for quitting the country.

The insurer announced this week that it had decided to change its domicile to the Netherlands, after months of tussling with the Treasury.

“We have said for quite a while that the fiscal instability of London – and our inability to plan long term around tax – is a big issue,” said Dane Douetil, chief executive of Brit Insurance Holdings. “We have tried to get more certainty and we just don’t get what we require.

“We need to be certain that the overall tax rate for the company is competitive with our competitors based in Bermuda, Switzerland, Dublin or elsewhere. We believe the combination of the infrastructure, regulatory regime, fiscal stability and business outlook for the Netherlands is a good place to put our company headquarters.”

Brit’s move comes after Beazley moved its headquarters to Dublin.

Brit has reported pre-tax profit of £89.2m for 2008, down from £191.2m in 2007. Gross written premium (GWP) rose to £1.4bn in 2008, from £1.3bn in 2007.

Douetil said the group was pleased with the UK performance. “The UK wrote £351m of GWP versus £274m in 2007. It has improved combined ratio to 100% by over nine points. We believe the business will grow further in 2009.”