Friday 26 March 2021 11:08 am

Lloyd’s of London may ditch strict dress code after 335 years

Lloyd’s of London could ditch its strict dress code policy for the first time in its 335-year history, with some brokers calling for the “stuffy” attire to be scrapped.

Lloyd’s staff who work in one of the City of London’s most iconic buildings are expected to abide by a strict dress code.

Men are expected to wear a suit or jacket with trousers and ties, though ties are no longer strictly enforced, and women should dress in a smart, business style, though are not required to wear heels.

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The insurance marketplace has relaxed its dress code somewhat more recently, encouraging staff to “dress for their day”, and pointing out that “in a modern office there’s no need to wear business dress at all times”.

Call for change

But the London & International Insurance Brokers Association (LIIBA), a group that represents brokers at Lloyd’s of London, has called for changes at the centuries-old institution, including changes to the “stuffy” dress code and allowing staff to work flexibly.

When the market returns to physical trading, there should be “an end to…long queues for brokers at Lloyd’s for simple policy endorsements, dress codes and any insistence on being full-time in the office”, LIIBA said.

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“We envisage a world where face-to-face meetings continue to be at the core of how London distinguishes itself from the competition, albeit in a more flexible environment with slightly less focus on EC3,” said Christopher Croft, CEO of LIIBA.

In a statement Lloyd’s of London said: “As our ways of working change and we embrace learnings from the pandemic, we have embarked on a once-in-a-generation journey to re-shape the iconic underwriting room and supporting spaces in the Lloyd’s building in London.

“As the global risk landscape is changing at pace, we are also transforming into a forward-looking and technologically advanced insurance marketplace, ready to meet these new challenges head on. As we re-shape the underwriting room, we will establish new ways of doing business, keeping in mind colleague’s comfort and customer success.”

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The City stalwart plans to re-open its famous underwriting room on 17 May for a few hundred people, including those who “need to be in for their wellbeing”.

The Telegraph previously reported Lloyd’s will allow 30 per cent of its normal capacity of 7,000 people back into the building.

The firm then plans to look to relax restrictions and increase footfall in line with expected government guidance on easing Covid-19 on 21 June.

Read more: Lloyd’s of London opens its doors for the first time since March