Lloyd's has up to 18 new start-ups in the pipeline following this week's decision by Bank of America to launch new syndicate, Pembrace Casualty Insurance.

But franchise performance director Rolf Tolle said that though "it is a long list of those who are interested, it may be a fairly limited number who make it through the process".

He would not confirm the exact number of potential start-ups but added: "Lloyd's was very attractive at the moment for its breadth and spread of business lines and licence agreements."

Pembrace will launch on 1 February, predominantly in US-based specialty liability and reinsurance lines. It will be capitalised by Banc of America Insurance Group with an initial stamp capacity of £33m, underwritten by BA International Underwriters, a UK-based company created by Bank of America's Insurance Services Group for the purpose of establishing the syndicate.

Pembrace will be managed through Spectrum Syndicate Management.

Jerome Breslin, reinsurance executive at Bank of America, told Insurance Times the syndicate would write existing US business and would not accept broking business from the traditional subscription market. "This deal is about utilising the Lloyd's brand and its licensing opportunities so we can expand our insurance strategy. It is about leveraging our domestic business and we will expand our strategy against our clients needs," he said.

Pembrace will not have a box on Lloyd's underwriting floor and it will only accept business from its US distribution channel. In a boost to Lloyd's battle with other domiciles, President of Banc of America Insurance Group Keith Pellerin said the US bank felt "Bermuda was good for reinsurance business but not flexible enough for the casualty business we want to write".