Up to 70 jobs at the Belfast office of insurer Allianz are at risk as the site faces a wind-down after changes to insurance regulations post-Brexit, Business Telegraph can reveal.
The company confirmed that Allianz personal insurance customers in NI will now be offered cover under its sister UK brand LV= General Insurance.
The provision of insurance by German-owned Allianz to customers here has been made more complicated as a result of Brexit and the fact that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the UK and EU does not cover services.
And the NI Protocol, set up to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, only keeps Northern Ireland in the EU single market for goods and not services.
LV= GI already has an office in NI, which is believed to have led to the decision to wind down the Allianz office at the Gasworks in Belfast over the next two years.
A spokesman for Allianz would not confirm that the jobs would be lost though it's understood that staff were told the news of a wind-down resulting in job losses on Thursday.
The LV= brand is governed by UK regulations but as Allianz is based in Germany and Dublin, it is governed by other regulations.
The job losses are the latest setback to the financial services sector here after Bank of Ireland announced the closure of 15 branches last Monday.
The Allianz spokesman said: “To ensure that we continue to deliver a superior service to our customers, amid the increasingly divergent regulations governing insurance provision in NI and Europe, a decision has been made to consolidate Allianz customers in NI under the existing UK regulated Allianz brands of Allianz Insurance UK for business customers and LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) for personal customers.
“LV= GI is also a part of Allianz and already has a presence in NI. This decision follows a detailed analysis of the future needs and best interests of our customers in NI and provides them with access to a broader suite of Allianz propositions and services.”
He said the transition would start at the end of this year but that customer support and service would continue until the end of transition.