Lloyd's of London today officially opened its Indian branch, with chancellor Philip Hammond calling it a "perfect example" of how the UK leads the world's financial services sector.
Hammond, on the final day of his trade delegation to India, witnessed the signing of a ceremonial Lloyd's India policy together with Lloyd's chairman John Nelson.
Underwriter MS Amlin signed up to be Lloyd's India's first syndicate member.
“Lloyd’s decision to expand into India is a perfect example of the role Britain’s world-leading financial services sector plays in supporting growth both at home and abroad," said Hammond.
It will help Indian insurance firms increase the resilience of the Indian economy to catastrophic events and boost Britain’s ties with one of the world’s most exciting economies, underlining our status as a truly global, trading nation.
Lloyd’s India will be the country's domestic reinsurance branch of the Lloyd’s corporation and will particularly focus on infrastructure, agriculture and disaster management.
Nelson added: "This is a true milestone in Lloyd’s 328-year history. We have long hoped to be able to increase our support for the Indian market and now we are on the doorstep of our clients and trading partners in Mumbai and we look forward to working with them to develop the types of innovative risk solutions that Lloyd’s is world famous for.
Lloyd’s will help to strengthen and diversify the Indian reinsurance market, increasing the capacity, products and choice available to Indian insurers.
This will, in turn, help to create a more vibrant insurance market and increase the level of protection across the Indian economy.
The India insurance market has not kept pace with the country's growing economy, Lloyd's said, and added sections of the economy are vulnerable in the face of significant natural catastrophe exposures.
Eight Lloyd’s syndicates recently committed capacity of $400m towards tackling underinsurance in emerging and developing economies.