Lloyd's of London 'advancing plans' to continue EU trading after Brexit
Insurance market Lloyd's of London has said it is putting plans in place that will ensure it continues trading across Europe following Brexit, weeks after its chairman warned that the group could be forced to move parts of its business to the EU.
In a joint statement, John Nelson and chief executive Inga Beale said: "As you would expect, we are advancing our plans for how Lloyd's will continue trading with EU countries when the UK's membership of the EU ends.
"Continental Europe will continue to be an important market for Lloyd's as it accounts for 11% of gross written premium, and we fully expect to maintain our position in the new post-Brexit landscape."
Earlier this month, Mr Nelson said that unless access to the single market is secured after Brexit, Lloyd's could move parts of its business to the continent.
The group added that, as a result of the referendum outcome, it has decided to "pause" work on plans for a Lloyd's underwriting index.
Lloyd's made the announcement alongside half year results which saw pre-tax profits grow from £1.2 billion to £1.46 billion.
Mr Nelson added: "Whilst we are operating in difficult conditions, we have continued to make significant progress in growing our presence in the fast-growth markets across the globe.
"In 2016 we have applied for onshore reinsurance licences in India and Malaysia as well as opening a new office in Bogota, Colombia. This complements the growth we are seeing in Dubai, China and in our more traditional markets, particularly the United States."
Gross written premiums rose 5% from £15.5 billion to £16.3 billion during the period, with the firm adding that wildfires in Alberta, Canada, led to a rise in claims. This led to an £850 million hit to underwriting profit.
However, the firm said it benefited from the collapse in sterling versus the dollar to the tune of £300 million.