Lloyd's insurer blasts business tax regime.
Brit Insurance has threatened to leave the UK because of frustrations with its business tax regime.
The Lloyd’s insurer may move its headquarters to a country with more favourable taxes, for example Ireland or Switzerland.
It was the latest business to voice its frustration over the Treasury’s proposals to increase the amount of tax firms pay on their overseas earnings. Other companies including advertising giant WPP and publisher United Business Media have also threatened to redomicile out of the UK in a bid to cut their tax bills. The companies also believe the 28% corporation tax rate is too high.
Brit chief executive Dane Douetil was reported to have said: “I have worked hard on staying in the UK. Brit is domiciled here. We want to remain, but can stay only if we have greater certainty about our tax position. We are looking closer than ever at other possibilities.”
Douetil added that his concerns were shared by other Lloyd’s insurers. If he were to move his business out of the UK, he would be following his Lloyd’s peers Hardy Underwriting, Talbot, Kiln, Omega and Catlin.
A Brit spokesman told Insurance Times: “We are always looking at what is best for the group. This is something that is on our radar and has been for some time now.”
A delegation from the Multinational Chairmen's Group, which brings together some of the world's most powerful companies, recently met Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling to protest over the proposed changes to tax on foreign earning. Current rules mean companies would pay tax in the UK on dividends earned overseas.