Thursday 12 March 2020 12:23 pm

Lloyd’s of London announces coronavirus shutdown simulation

Insurance market Lloyd’s of London said it will close its underwriting room at its London headquarters tomorrow to simulate a coronavirus shutdown.

Lloyd’s said it will “test the resilience of the market” by closing the underwriting room at One Lime Street for 24 hours to test “alternative trading protocols”.

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The room will be closed from 24 hours from midnight tonight and Lloyd’s will invoke its “emergency trading protocol,” it said in a statement.

“This 24-hour exercise will provide valuable information on the real-life effectiveness of the protocol,” Lloyd’s said.

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Lloyd’s said it had informed “relevant regulators” of its plans.

It also said it would take the opportunity to deep clean its underwriting room and all public areas in the Lloyd’s building

Lloyd’s said last week it will encourage electronic placing to limit person-to-person contact during the coronavirus outbreak.

Lloyd’s is one of the last bastions of face-to-face trading in the City, with insurance workers touting their files a familiar sight in the streets and pubs of EC3.

The market has made a push towards electronic trading but most of its business is still carried out on a one-to-one basis.