I understand that there are some limitations in certain countries to that access. Is that correct?

February 09 2012 | Insurance Services


Yes, that is correct, certain countries in the EC do impose limitations on Barbadian firms owning or investing in Insurance businesses.  The following countries have conditions as outlined for Insurance service providers:

Austria: The license for branch offices of foreign insurers will be denied if the insurer, in Barbados, does not have a legal form corresponding or comparable to a joint stock company or mutual insurance association.

Bulgaria & Spain: Before establishing a branch or agency in Bulgaria or Spain to provide certain classes of insurance, a Barbadian insurer must have been authorised to operate in the same classes of insurance in Barbados for at least five years.

Greece: The right of establishment does not cover the creation of representative offices or other permanent presence of insurance companies, except where such offices are established as agencies, branches or head offices.

Finland: At least one half of the promoters and members of the board of directors and the supervisory board of an insurance company shall have their place of residence in the EC, unless the competent authorities have granted an exemption.  Barbadian insurers will not be granted a license in Finland as a branch to carry on statutory pension insurance.

Italy: The authorisation of the establishment of branches is ultimately subject to the evaluation of supervisory authorities.

Bulgaria & Poland: Local incorporation (no branches) required for insurance intermediaries.

Portugal: In order to establish a branch in Portugal, Barbadian insurance companies need to demonstrate prior operational experience of at least five years.  Direct branching is not permitted for insurance intermediation, which is reserved for companies formed in accordance with the law of an EC member state.

Slovakia: Barbadian nationals may establish an insurance company in the form of a joint stock company, or may conduct business through their subsidiaries with registered offices in Slovakia (no branches).

Slovenia: Barbadian investors cannot participate in insurance companies under privatisation.  Membership of the mutual insurance institution is limited to companies established in Slovenia and domestic natural persons. For providing consultancy and claim settlement services, incorporation is required as a legal entity (no branches).  For sole proprietors, a residence in Slovenia is required.

Sweden: Insurance broking undertakings not incorporated in Sweden may establish only through a branch.


The following general conditions also apply to Insurance Service providers:

Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia: Limitations on the acquisition of land and real estate.

Estonia, Finland, Italy, Romania and Sweden: Limitations requiring local citizenship or residency of senior management or Board of Directors.

Poland: Limitations on the type of business.

Bulgaria, France, Finland and Italy: Limitations on the type of investment e.g. a maximum percentage for foreign shareholding or voting rights.

EC: Limitations on the treatment extended to branches and agencies.