21 May 2013Analysis

Bermuda Premier says regulations must keep pace

The Hon. Craig Cannonier, the Premier of Bermuda, has said the island’s regulatory regime is committed to remaining flexible and competitive to make certain it remains the jurisdiction of choice for both the captive industry and the international re/insurance industry.

Talking with Captive International, he said that as other jurisdictions, including some US states, increasingly promote themselves as captives domiciles and introduce favourable regulations and tax breaks in some instances, it is important Bermuda stays ahead of the game and does everything it can to ensure it remains a market leader in this field.

“We have the largest concentration of captives in the world,” said Cannonier, who has been the Premier of Bermuda since December 2012. “We are the world leader in the market and we want to ensure we maintain and build on that success.

“But to achieve that, we must evolve with the industries that are so important to us. The dynamics of international business can change overnight and we cannot predict how things might change in the future. All we can do is remain vigilant and proactive. We are planning ahead by ten to 15 years in terms of the way we remain competitive both on the regulatory front and in terms of ensuring we have an attractive business environment more generally.”

Bermuda is the biggest captives domicile in the world. Latest estimates suggest it has almost 1,000 registered captives, representing some 20 percent all such vehicles globally, with captives from more than 40 countries domiciling on the Island.

Cannonier also noted that international business, much of it generated by the insurance industry, is critical to the Bermuda economy representing as much as 70 percent of GDP for the island. “Many years ago, tourism was our main contributor to the economy; now, it is insurance and finance.

“It is a major part of the economy employing thousands of people,” he says. “It is my job to ensure it continues to thrive and we continue to attract new business to Bermuda. It is vitally important we remain the domicile of choice.”