12 March 2013

Carey Olsen event pinpoints legal and regulatory issues for Guernsey insurers

Carey Olsen hosted insurance law expert Richard Spiller, of Holman Fenwick Willan in London, at its most recent client seminar where UK regulatory and Guernsey company law issues were discussed.

The seminar was chaired by Peter Child, Director of Heritage Insurance Management and Guernsey International Insurance Association with presentations from Richard Spiller and Carey Olsen partner Christopher Anderson.

Mr Spiller began by reviewing UK legislation examining what constituted "carrying out" or "effecting" contracts of insurance under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA).

Mr Spiller warned that Guernsey insurers and managers needed to be aware of the risk of the activities of Guernsey licensed insurers becoming more and more UK focussed over time, which he referred to as "activity creep" into the UK.

Mr Spiller said the offshore captive model continued to be very attractive but managers needed to be careful to ensure business processes were properly documented to minimise the risk of contravening the UK regulatory requirements. 

Advocate Anderson outlined the updates to the new Guernsey companies' law, which are due to come into effect on 31 December this year, and what they meant for existing Guernsey insurance companies.

He suggested that the amendments in respect of protected cell companies were probably of most interest to the audience.  In particular, cells of protected cell companies will be able to convert into non-cellular companies which will provide greater options for insurance managers in restructuring insurance portfolios.