THE MIGRATION CHALLENGES OF A GLOBAL BANKING AND FINANCE INDUSTRY

Chris Galway, CEO, Migration Cover

The banking and finance industry never sleeps, it is a truly global sector. Those that work within it are often expected to work in other countries and relocate. In fact, it is estimated that some 240 Million people live outside of their birth country as of 2015 and the finance sector is a significant contributor to this growing trend.

Countries such as Australia (190,000), UK (200,000), New Zealand (60,000), USA (approximately 1 million) and Canada (200,000), continue to increase their occupancy rates for skilled migration, due to economic stability and the ever increasing ageing population issues associated within these countries.

This increase in migration is not just good for the countries directly involved, but for the global economy as a whole. According to The World Bank, (Global Economic prospects: Economic Implications of Remittances and Migration, 2005) even modest increases in the levels of migration would produce significant gains for the global economy. Both rich and poor countries would benefit from increased migration, with developing countries benefitting the most. The World Bank estimates that increasing migration equal to 3% of the workforce in developed countries between 2005 – 2025 would generate global gains of $356 billion. Other models suggest that with a 5% increase in migration, 80% of the gains would accrue to developing countries. (Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron and Meera Balarajan, 2011. Exceptional People: How Migration shaped our past and will define our future. Princeton University Press.)

These global mobility factors are becoming increasingly important as the push/pull factors for skilled migration continues to grow.

Chris Galway
Chris Galway

That’s not to say there aren’t benefits for the financial organisations too. They want to make it easier to move their people around the globe, but breaking down the risks that prevent global mobility has been an issue to date.

The reality is migrating to another country is a very difficult decision, even if it is supported by an employer. That’s not just because of the personal pressures, but because the migrant is very much on their own. They have all the risk and no reward if things don’t go well. In fact, they are likely to be significantly disadvantaged if they have to return home, both financially and personally, whatever the reason may be.

Better money, better climate and a better lifestyle are just three of the many points listed when migrants are asked why they chose to leave their home country to live someone completely new. On the other side of the coin; missing family and friends, language difficulties and cultural differences can make moving away a more challenging experience.

But how easy is it to move to another country, what are the risks and what protection can be sought should the move not work out as planned?

Moving to another country in the financial sector is likely to be sponsored by an employer, making the process more straightforward and less risky from a financial perspective for the individual.

This is hugely important as the threat of covering moving and repatriation costs related to going back to their home country from Australia for example is likely to be upto £20,000 to cover visas, removals, pet shipping, flights, car hire, accommodation and other associated costs.

The reasons for a return home may not be purely work related, what will happen if a family member at home becomes ill? How will the migrant return home if they need to? Will their employer assist in instances such as this?

To date, the insurance industry has been unable to respond directly to the complex issues of migration. Insurance has been possible around factors such as health and travel, but no policy has been available to cover the many and varied reasons that a migrant may need to return to their point of origin.

I understand these concerns only too well having moved to the UK from Australia with my family in 2012, which gave me the opportunity to experience the pressures and fears that a migrant takes on, with no support. Had I been able to take out an insurance product that removed many of my fears at the time, it would have been a much smoother transition and it would also have allowed me to call on that policy to assist at times when my family in Australia needed me to return.

However, the migration landscape changed in September 2015 with the launch of a new insurance product aimed directly at skilled migration called Migration Cover.

It is the first product of its kind designed specifically for migrants and it aims to provide a sense of security to those that may be worried about the migration process, or leaving family behind. Put simply, the policy seeks to cover migrants, who face barriers in their new Host Country. These include involuntary redundancy, long-term unemployment leading to full repatriation. The product also provides cover for temporary repatriation, in case the family left behind, becomes seriously ill, or injured.

This insurance product is based around the cornerstones of global mobility and protecting international communities, such as the financial industry, which is at the forefront of the movement of skilled labour around the world.

So, if you have the opportunity to move to another country, whether it is a work-based or personal decision, rest assured that your migration investment, employment and repatriation options are covered. Now all you have to do is make one of the biggest decisions of your life.

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