Insurer takes on advisers to consider redomiciling.
Brit may redomicile before the end of the year after admitting it is exploring a number of opportunities.
Brit chief executive Dane Douetil, confirmed the insurer had taken on a number of advisers, including Ernst & Young, after growing frustrated with the UK government’s uncertainty on its business tax regime.
Douetil said the insurer was “seriously considering” quitting the UK, but had yet made no decision. “We are actively considering domiciling the group structure,” he said. “We have taken on advisers to help us to reach a conclusion in that area and we would expect to have further details to be able to share with the market at the end of the year.”
Brit is believed to be considering the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland and Bermuda. “We are having to plan for the fact that the UK government are not giving us certainty,” Douetil added.
His comments came as Brit reported that profits had more than halved in the first six months of 2008. It blamed investment losses in volatile markets, after posting pre-tax profits of £49.9m, compared to £106.8m in the first half of 2007.
The group’s investment return dropped to £2.1m in the period from £55.9 million the previous year.
Net earned premiums for the period dropped to £544.5m, down from £570.6m in the same period last year.
Brit’s combined ratio rose marginally to 89.4% from 87.7% a year before.