Financial services regulation in Gibraltar, including insurance, falls under the Financial Services Commission (GFSC), a statutory body independent of Government, and therefore free of the possibility of any political influence.
The GFSC maintains a firm regulatory stance, ensuring Gibraltar is regarded as one of the better regulated financial centres, and in keeping with the requirement of its statute to “match” UK regulatory standards and practices. The GFSC does however have the option to exercise a degree of flexibility and discretion, especially in the way it goes about dealing with regulated firms.
This accessibility and approachability makes the Gibraltar regulatory experience a much more palatable and responsive one than in many other territories.
The GFSC is overseen but not controlled by the UK, and to this end regular reviews have been carried out:
All reviews have endorsed the quality of Gibraltar’s regulation, making the Rock a blue-chip domicile in which to do business, but with a human face.
The GFSC maintains as an absolute minimum the solvency levels required under EU legislation, and usually in excess of the minimum. The GFSC’s adaptive approach ensures, however, that the solvency levels applied in each case are appropriate to the size and nature of the regulated firm, and fully discussed with and understood by the firm’s shareholders.
Gibraltar’s cost base has proved a popular attraction for a number of insurers. Office rents are not high compared to other potential locations, salaries of local office staff are not excessive, due to relatively low living costs, and cost of other services are competitive. Gibraltar has no job quota or property ownership restrictions.
Corporate taxation is a flat 10% on taxable profits for most companies, with investment income excluded from taxable profits. Therefore, the average corporate tax in Gibraltar for insurance companies is often less than 10%.