August 2010

Talk Around the Bazaar

Further to our front page, for more news on Employee Benefit developments in China, Hungary and Japan, please go to http://ebn.benefitnews.com/news/international-benefits-news-from-china-hungary-and-japan-2683779-1.html

Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man have signed a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Portugal (the Crown Dependencies’ 16th such agreement) under the terms of which bank and other information relating to criminal and civil tax matters can be exchanged. The countries have stated their intention to conclude an agreement for the allocation of taxing rights over certain income of individuals and to establish a mutual agreement procedure in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises as soon as possible once the agreement enters into force. For more information, see www.guernseyfinance.com, www.jerseyfinance.je and www.gov.im/lib/news/treasury/incometax/isleofmansignsta5.xml 

The world’s largest wholesale and reinsurance brokers has been created with the merger of Cooper Gay (www.coopergay.com) and Swett & Crawford (www.swett.com) and will be known as Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd. Hopefully this will enable them to remain independent and we wish them luck

Other London brokers to announce international changes are Miller (www.miller-insurance.com) who has joined the Assurex network (www.assurexglobal.com) and JLT (www.jltgroup.com) who has entered into an exclusive agreement with SIACI (www.s2hgroup.com), GrECo (www.greco.eu) and Ecclesia (www.ecclesia-gruppe.de) to intensify its continental European strategy. We anticipate further link ups and alliances as international cooperation continues to spark enthusiasm

As we all know, Hong Kong is still a separate administrative region of China. This remains clear on their website http://www.fstb.gov.hk/tb/eng/home/content.html and further at http://www.fstb.gov.hk/tb/eng/press/press_releases2010.html where there is evidence of many links between Hong Kong and other key trading partners

In the U.K. the new government announced quickly that it would reform regulation of the financial services industry. Almost immediately there was a balanced reaction from the insurance community as ISN aptly quotes at http://www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=2179&cid=4 

The FIFA World Cup is over and more than £6.2 billion of insurance was taken out. Fortunately there were no horrors which we all insure against. Once again, however, we see how important the contribution of creative underwriters such as Beazley (www.beazley.com), Kiln (www.kilngroup.com) and Sportscover (www.sportscover.com) is to the success of these international events

Anyone who has studied insurance examination has heard of uberrimae fidei, the concept of utmost good faith underlining all insurance handlings and contracts. Every now and then there is a “smart cookie” who thinks otherwise. Bribery and corruption always lurk close to lucrative dealings and we are told that sometimes it is not the legislation but the enforcement which lets a lot slip through the net. How many countries do or do not actively enforce bribery laws? Please look at http://www.mainjustice.com/2010/07/28/report-more-countries-actively-enforcing-foreign-bribery-laws/ for some answers 

From our friends at American Appraisal (www.american-appraisal.co.uk) we have received an interesting link to a recent National Underwriter article on the impact of the BP oil spill on the energy insurance market. To read this, go to http://www.property-casualty.com/News/2010/7/Pages/BP-Oil-Spill-To-Impact-Energy-Market-But-Not-A-Game-Changer.aspx 

The Middle East Association in London continues to hold very informative gatherings for international players with their frequent events. To see a list of forthcoming activities, please see http://www.the-mea.co.uk/events-forthcoming.asp

Meanwhile the Kurdish Regional Government has scored another success with the plans to open Egyptian and Jordanian consulates in Erbil. For more, please go to http://www.krg.org/articles/detail.asp?lngnr=12&smap=02010100&rnr=223&anr=35973