Standard Life has revealed it is to be the latest life insurance company to enter the offshore marke...
Standard Life has revealed it is to be the latest life insurance company to enter the offshore market. It has applied for a licence to establish an offshore business in Dublin that will initially sell life insurance products into the UK.
The application to the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority was made in March and Standard Life hopes to start distributing offshore life products in the UK before the end of this year. Standard Life said it had yet to be decided who will manage the offshore business and which products it will sell.
Market speculation has suggested the move is designed to bolster Standard Life's multi-tie offering in the UK market as advisers have been asking for access to offshore products.
The new offshore operation will complement Standard Life's domestic company in Ireland that sells pensions, protection and investment products.
The company already markets products to continental Europe as well as having operations in China and India. In Germany, for example, it sells with-profits policies and group and individual pensions from the UK under the third-life directive. It bought a small life company in Spain and has a long-standing business in Canada.
Standard Life could be joined by other new offshore insurers in Dublin. Axa Sun Life has been carrying out a well-publicised feasibility study into opening a Dublin office, although the company has stressed it will maintain its Isle of Man operation. (See Axa story on page 15)
Legal & General has also been investigating the viability of selling offshore products in the UK, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man by opening a base in Dublin. The advantage of such a base is the ease with which products can be distributed in continental Europe compared with the Isle of Man.
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