Updated: Mar 17
In a continuing series of articles about the web of companies apparently necessary for Hastings Insurance Services Ltd (Hastings) to 'provide' insurance to UK households and automobile drivers, WireNews contacted Peter William Blanc, who is described as a point of contact for the company, as well as an impressive list of 25 other companies, by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Hastings is authorised by the FCA to provide insurance.
Hastings provides insurance policies in the UK that are issued, and therefore underwritten, by Advantage Insurance Company Limited. 'Advantage' is a secretly controlled Gibraltar-based company. The details of the directors of the company are not disclosed by the company or the Registrar of Companies in Gibraltar.
Because Hastings' parent company is a listed company on the London Stock Exchange, and because the company that underwrites most if not all of its subsidiary company's insurance policies in the UK does not disclose the details of its directors and management, it is in the public interest to know who those people are and why they don't want their names available to the public.
Blanc has been a director of 48 companies in the UK, but currently has appointments with 34 companies according to Companies House records.
Initially, Blanc was quick to point out to WireNews that:
"there’s nothing hidden or untoward in this very straightforward group".
"It’s really quite straightforward."
That 'straightforward' corporate structure includes no less than 20 active and dormant companies in four separate jurisdictions involving cross-ownership, shared and hidden directorships and similarly named companies that collectively seek to provide underwriting confidence through a Gibraltar-based company that refuses to disclose the details of its directors.
Over the exchange of 17 emails, Blanc repeatedly sought to normalise this web of companies, concluding with:
"Just to be crystal clear. I am the Non Executive Chairman of the Board of Hastings Insurance Services Ltd."
There is no legal distinction between a non-executive director, which is merely an internal company moniker or title of importance and a director, which is a person legally responsible for the activities of a company registered pursuant Companies Act.
Blanc is also the Group CEO of Aston Lark Group, another collection of companies that frankly, puts Hastings to shame. A cursory inspection of Aston's records with Companies House shows a seemingly never-ending line of companies with distinctions like "midco", "bidco", "topco" that crisscross back and forth controlling each other until, mercifully, the control heads offshore to Jersey in the Channel Islands, where Hastings also has a presence for no less than six of its companies. (Read about Aston Lark)
Blanc considers this normal.