In a speech Monday at his party’s annual conference George Osborne, the U.K.’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, pledged to the country’s businesses to “go on cutting your taxes to the lowest rates of any major economy in the world.”
“In return, you have to do more to train your workforce and to pay higher wages,” he added, in a speech many interpreted as his pitch to be Prime Minister when David Cameron leaves office.
But might red tape and increased ease of movement threaten the country’s status and push large-cap multi-national companies out of the U.K.?
Prudential is the latest U.K. financial services company whose London headquarters are in the spotlight. The insurer, which has a growing Asian business but maintains around one-fifth of its business in the U.K., would say only that “we regularly look at the structure of our business” when asked about a report in the Sunday Times that it is considering moving.
It will face tougher capital requirements which could limit its ability to make different kinds of investments, under European Union rules known as the Solvency II rules, from next year.