French insurer AXA said it will handle its international risk and reinsurance through an Irish unit in light of Britain's plans to leave the European Union.

AXA Chief Executive Thomas Buberl told reporters that AXA's recently acquired XL division had already initiated the plans to move some staff to Ireland from the UK before its eventual takeover by AXA last year. 

"It will be mostly people taking the way UK-Ireland," he said. 

"Since the former hub is in France, we will have to take some jobs from France as Irish regulators will ask functions to be handled there," Mr Buberl said. 

He did not specify how many staff would be moving to Ireland. 

When companies move operations from one country to another, regulators can require a minimum of sensitive tasks to be carried under their supervision. 

As a result, AXA may have to move a handful of Paris-based jobs to Dublin. 

The company will handle European large risks and reinsurance from Dublin, while its people in London will keep handling all the company's UK businesses. 

Dublin has been vying with Frankfurt, Paris and other major European Union cities to attract financial jobs away from London ahead of Britain's planned departure from the EU in March 2019. 

The Lloyd's commercial insurance market has set up headquarters for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in Brussels.