As published on internationalinvestment.net, Thursday November 7, 2019.
Labuan International Business and Financial Centre's (Labuan IBFC's) position as a market leader in captive insurance has been reinforced by the findings of a white paper by Captive Review titled "Driving Captive Transformation in Asia", which showed the jurisdiction having led by 50% in captive formations in Asia last year.
According to the white paper, the total number of captives in Asia grew by ten with Labuan IBFC leading the way with half of these incorporations domiciled in the jurisdiction. Singapore came in second with three formations compared to Labuan IBFC's five.
The paper also revealed 81% of respondents cited regulatory environment as the most important factor in choosing a domicile, which puts the midshore jurisdiction of Labuan IBFC in good stead. Well-supported by a robust, modern and internationally-recognised legal framework enforced by its regulator, Labuan Financial Services Authority, the jurisdiction strikes an ideal balance between regulatory requirements, compliance with international best standards and practices.
"As of mid-2019, Labuan IBFC already registered six captive formations, compared to the five registered for the whole of 2018, reinforcing the study’s findings."
Labuan IBFC is home to close to 200 insurance and insurance related licensed entities, providing an ideal ecosystem for captive formation as well as management, while the strong banking and corporate services industry provides for a seamless one stop jurisdiction for captive insurance entities.
"As a midshore wholesale financial intermediation centre, focused on delivering solutions to the Asian marketplace, Labuan IBFC is in good stead to continue being the captive leader in Asia, especially as the requirements of economic substance demand Asian captive owners seek a well-regulated, cost efficient and facilitative jurisdiction," said Labuan IBFC Inc CEO, Farah Jaafar-Crossby.
"In fact as of mid-2019, Labuan IBFC already registered six captive formations, compared to the five registered for the whole of 2018, reinforcing the study's findings, which not only indicated an overall growth in understanding the role of captives but the jurisdiction's ability to continue to attract these risk management vehicles," Jaafar-Crossby added.
Fraser Irving, editor of Captive Review, said "Often tipped as the next area of opportunity for captive insurance, Asia has shown steady long-term growth over a number of years. While there is yet to be the ‘boom' spoken about by various commentators, the industry is becoming increasingly sophisticated in the region and is definitely here to stay."
The steady overall year-on-year upward trend in Asian captive adoption depicts enhanced maturity and sophistication, demonstrated in the findings indicating 52% of respondents having heard of protected cell companies (PCCs), while 76% of respondents felt that cell captives are suitable for Asian risk management requirements.
"The fact that Labuan IBFC is still the only jurisdiction in Asia with the Protected Cell Company structure is definitely encouraging. In fact, in 2019, we have seen a significant pipeline interest in PCCs which we attribute to enhanced awareness of its benefits as well as overall cost sensitivities arising from the global need for substance creation, whilst in a well-regulated jurisdiction," Jaafar-Crossby noted.