The creation of a single European insurance market has bought benefits to both the buyers and seller of insurance products and services, particularly in the field of captive insurance operations. The single market enables insurance companies in an EEA state to insure risks in another EEA state either: 1 By establishing a branch operation i.e. freedom of establishment, or 2 By insuring risks directly in the 'host' EEA state, i.e. freedom of services without having to go through separate local licensing procedures.
Gibraltar provides an attractive environment for:
- Captive insurance companies
- Reinsurance companies
- International insurers setting up a base from which to access the EEA market
- Insurance services companies establishing a European cross-border base e.g. international insurance brokers, claims managers, loss adjusters and companies wishing to redomicile.
- Captive insurers with risks in EEA territories.
- Insurers setting up an EEA offshore cross-border base, for personal lines insurance.
- Insurance legislation -- All EU law relating to insurance is in place in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Government has passed into its laws the Life and Non-life Insurance Directives and ancillary legislation. The conduct of insurance business in Gibraltar is regulated by the Insurance Companies Ordinance 1987 and its subsidiary legislation. The framework it lays down, implements the Life and Non-life Insurance Directives and fully matches UK standards.
EU law allows Gibraltar banks to open branches or offer banking services in any EEA state (¹passport into¹) without the need to go through separate licensing procedures in the individual states, providing they follow the notification procedures set out in the Banking Ordinance. Passporting also makes it easier for banks in EEA states to open branches in Gibraltar.
The Banking Sector
Gibraltar has a thriving banking sector. The majority of players are subsidiaries or branches of some of the largest and best known banks and savings institutions in Europe. Our financial institutions and banks offer a comprehensive range of services, including private banking, investments, trust and company management and commercial and retail banking. Gibraltar is ideally placed to service the rapidly expanding expatriate market in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. Gibraltar's banking industry combines all the advantages of banking in an international finance centre, with the assurance that comes from investing with institutions that are part of a regulatory environment on a par with or surpassing that of other major finance jurisdictions, such as those within the UK and European Union.
A Deposit Guarantee Scheme is in place governed by a Deposit Guarantee Board of which the Financial Services Commissioner is Chairman and the Banking Supervisor is a member. The Board is required to pay compensation for valid claims within three months of default by a credit institution covered by the scheme. The amount of compensation to any claimant will be the lesser of 90 percent of the total amount of the claimant's qualifying deposits, or the greater amount of £18,000 or the sterling equivalent of E20,000. This measure reassures investors that their Gibraltar-based deposits are protected by domestic legislation.