London market leaders have promised to slash red tape and make the market one of the most efficient insurance centres in the world.

In a polished double act, International Underwriting Association boss Tim Carroll and Lloyd's chairman Max Taylor promised easier access to the market through ecommerce and, at Lloyd's, through service companies and by opening up the market to non-Lloyd's brokers.

But they also promised to scrap archaic practices so they could rid the market of its tarnished reputation.

“We have all heard that London is slow at paying claims and at issuing documents. We have to get away from that,” Carroll said.

And Taylor insisted a whole layer of bureaucracy between the two organisations would be swept away, leaving only the necessary competition between underwriters. “Everything we do in London should focus on individual underwriters – syndicates or companies – competing. And everything else we do we should do together,” he said.

That would leave London as the expert centre for underwriting. “London is the place where the experts get together. We are like Hollywood for films, Silicon Valley for technology or Milan for fashion,” Taylor said.

But he accepted that London would have to constantly improve.