Douetil adds that an FSA shutdown would be a big mistake

Brit Insurance chief executive Dane Douetil said the insurer would consider returning to the UK if the government lowered its corporation tax rate.

He told the forum that Brit could be tempted back if the rate was lowered from the current 28% to between 10% to 15%.

Brit’s move to the Netherlands, which should be finished by the end of the year, was expected to save about £30m, he said.

The company had a 10-year agreement with the Dutch government on its tax bill.

“Within the next year, we will have 20 people working in the Netherlands,” Douetil said. “We will be moving the real heart of the company. If you do it, you have got to do it properly.”

A number of other insurers have moved their headquarters offshore to take advantage of competitive tax regimes, including Hiscox to Bermuda and Beazley to Dublin.

Douetil said: “We would come back tomorrow if we were given fiscal certainty. We’re not talking about a 0% tax rate … if we get a tax rate of somewhere between 10%-15%, an effective tax rate on your profits, we and other (insurers) would come back.”

Douetil said the Tory proposals to break up the FSA was a “major mistake”, adding “I can’t see what benefits it would bring to consumers.” However, he called on the industry to work “very hard” with the party, as it was “increasingly likely” that it would win the next election.