British insurance giant Lloyds of London has opted to locate a new office in Brussels, not Rotterdam, even though the company has had a branch office in the port city for years.
The deciding factor was not bonuses – although that played a role – but the prevailing regulatory authority, Ralph Van Helden, regional manager Benelux told the NRC. Although the Dutch central bank DNB was being consulted by Lloyd’s until the last moment, Lloyd’s preferred the ‘pragmatic’ approach of the Belgian central bank, Van Helden said.
‘We needed a regulator which understood the unique, complex structure of our company. This is all the more important as it will remain a small office, employing scores not hundreds of people,’ he told the paper.
‘Lloyd’s remains committed to its European markets following the ‘Brexit’ vote and is delivering on plans to continue trading with the single market,’ the company said in a website statement.
Without a central EU base, Lloyd’s risked losing an annual €1.5bn in premium income.
The race to attract the big London-based financial institutions post-Brexit is heating up with Frankfurt, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam among the front runners. But Amsterdam is losing out on the bonus front – the 20% cap puts off many financial bosses.
Last month US investment bank JPMorgan Chase announced it was moving its European headquarters to Frankfurt, saying the bonus cap was an important reason not to consider Amsterdam.
British bank Standard Chartered and the Japanese bank Nomura are also relocating their European headquarters to the German financial centre. HSBC opted for Paris, while Bank of America is opening an office in Dublin.
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