Business

Insurer Lloyd's of London 'to open Brussels office', say reports

Lloyd's of London Image copyright Getty Images

Lloyd's of London will establish a new European base in Brussels to avoid losing business when the UK leaves the EU, according to press reports.

The company has not confirmed the decision, but said it would make a statement on Thursday.

The insurer has been weighing up different locations on the continent.

Without the move, the company said Brexit could have a significant impact on its continental business which generates 11% of premiums.

The insurer was due to ratify the decision on Wednesday, according to The Insurance Insider, which first reported it.

Brussels had been chosen over the other shortlisted locations, including Luxembourg, thanks to the presence of EU politicians and regulators, according to the Financial Times. Other financial institutions are also planning to relocate business within Europe.

Several investment banks, including Bank of America, Barclays, and Morgan Stanley are considering relocating staff to Dublin. Frankfurt, Madrid and Amsterdam are also likely to benefit. HSBC is expected to move significant numbers of employees to Paris.

Lloyd's chief executive, Inga Beale, told the BBC last year that if the insurer lost "passporting" rights, which allow it to operate across the EU, Brexit could cost the business around 4% of its revenues.

She said the company would need to prepare for post-Brexit conditions and that some people might end up working in continental Europe rather than London.

Lloyd's, one of Britain's oldest institutions, is the world's leading insurance and reinsurance market. It focuses on specialist markets, such as marine, energy and political risk, but also branches out into more unusual areas such as insuring the late chef Egon Ronay's taste buds and comedian Ken Dodd's teeth.

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