October 11, 2017 / 3:31 PM / 9 months ago

Germany's BaFin warns insurers to prepare for 'very hard' Brexit

BONN (Reuters) - Germany’s financial watchdog on Wednesday warned the nation’s insurance companies to prepare for a “very hard” Brexit.

“I have the impression in various talks that the topic is taken too lightly,” Frank Grund, head of insurance oversight at BaFin, told insurers at a conference.

There is a danger that German companies will end up conducting illegal business in Britain if Britain leaves the European Union in 2019 without new agreements similar to today’s that give German insurers the right to operate there, he said.

Grund said that most insurance companies he has spoken with are not taking Brexit seriously.

Even if just 10 companies from each of the 27 remaining EU countries were to seek licensing in Britain, it would be “a bit time intensive” for British authorities. “One shouldn’t wait for the final three months,” he said.

Reporting by Tom Sims; Editing by Maria Sheahan

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