Lloyd’s of London will move its EU base to Brussels, the iconic insurance market confirmed this morning, with the aim of being ready to write business for the 1 January 2019 renewal season.
Just one day after the UK triggered Article 50, kicking off the two-year process to leave the EU, the insurance giant plumped for Belgium over the other country on its shortlist, Luxembourg, confirming reports from yesterday.
Lloyd’s chief executive Inga Beale said the number of employees in Brussels would be "in the tens", and said while EU business accounts for 11 per cent of all the business Lloyd's writes, around half of that will still be carried out from the UK.
“It is important that we are able to provide the market and customers with an effective solution that means business can carry on without interruption when the UK leaves the EU," said Beale.
Brussels met the critical elements of providing a robust regulatory framework in a central European location, and will enable Lloyd’s to continue to provide specialist underwriting expertise to our customers.
“I am excited about the opportunities this venture will offer the market by providing that important European access efficiently."
She added: "It is now crucial that the UK government and the European Union proceed to negotiate an agreement that allows business to continue to flow under the best possible conditions once the UK formally leaves the EU. I believe it is important not just for the City but also for Europe that we reach a mutually beneficial agreement. We stand ready to help and support the government as best we can."
Lloyd’s started looking for a new EU home last year, saying it would announce its decision in early 2017, with the end of March its chosen deadline.
The decision was made by Lloyd’s council yesterday afternoon after its franchise board made a recommendation for a Brussels EU home.