Lloyd's of London's chairman says business will leave the City if it doesn't get passporting rights post-Brexit

Caitlin Morrison
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Lloyd's of London occupies one of the City's most iconic buildings (Source: Getty)

London's status as a global insurance leader is at risk in the wake of the Brexit vote, according to Lloyd's of London boss John Nelson.

Nelson, chairman of the specialist insurance market, told the BBC's Today programme this morning that the company will have to move business out of the City if it is not given guarantees about its access to European markets, and added that the group wants more clarity from the government about what assurances ministers will seek during Brexit negotiations.

At the moment, the single insurance market means Lloyd’s underwriters can work in all the other 27 member states, while the EU passport system eases access across the market.

Read more: What now? The UK and the EU Single Market

However, Nelson said, if this were no longer the case - or even if the arrangement was subject to a prolonged period of uncertainty, the market would have to consider "contingency plans".

"It won't be Lloyd's losing out, it will be the UK," he warned.

Nelson pointed out that more than 80 per cent of the capital invested in the market comes from outside the UK, including 16 per cent from Japan, which yesterday laid out a list of 18 demands around Brexit negotiations - including maintenance of passporting rights and the free movement of capital.

Meanwhile, the EU accounts for 11 per cent of gross written premium at Lloyd's - as such, the company will explore the possibility of operating in another member state if access to the Single Market is cut.

Earlier this year, Lloyd's chief risk officer Sean McGovern said that exiting the EU would "create a level of uncertainty, for Lloyd’s, for the London market, as well as the UK and European economies, we have rarely experienced".

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