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Insurance Companies: Investment

Question for Treasury

UIN HL16940, tabled on 4 July 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote investment by the insurance industry into applied research, new technologies, and infrastructure; whether information about any such investments will be published on an annual basis; and if so, where.

Answered on

17 July 2019

The treatment of infrastructure investment by insurance undertakings for the purposes of prudential regulation is set by the Solvency II Directive. In March 2019, the EU adopted new Solvency II rules to help insurers to invest in equity and private debt and to provide long-term capital financing. This means that insurers will be able to hold less capital for such investments and will therefore find such investments more attractive. The Government does not collect information about such investments, but individual insurance firms often include such details in their annual reports.

The government provides competitive R&D tax reliefs to support businesses to invest. Support for businesses through R&D tax reliefs rose to £3.7 billion in 2015-16, up by almost a quarter from the previous year. The government is also carrying out the Infrastructure Finance Review, to support private infrastructure investment and ensure that infrastructure projects, including those using new technologies, are able to access the finance they need. The review will conclude alongside the National Infrastructure Strategy in the Autumn.In 2018, the UK Government provided £20m of ‘pioneer funding’ through the Next Generation Services Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to explore how new technologies could transform the UK accountancy, insurance and legal services industries

Answered by

Treasury