Computing giant IBM has added its weight to the drive towards electronic trading in the London market with the launch of an insurer messaging service.

The data messaging solution will be rolled out from April 2007.

It is designed to enable London market insurers to take data electronically from brokers.

IBM said in future it could be expanded to handle claims and global business transactions.

The service will be built on the existing Polaris Imarket business platform, which supports the UK regional market and is currently managed by IBM.

Luke Robertson, associate partner with IBM Global Business Services, said he expected the service would help increase the speed of reform within Lloyd's.

"Technology has moved forward and people have got to the point where they realise that they have to embrace it."

G6, the group of top managing agents, introduced direct peer-to-peer communications between themselves and a number of brokers in 2006.

"The new service will be complementary to the existing peer-to-peer links between major insurers," said Sue Langley, chief operating officer for Hiscox and chair of G6.

"It provides an alternative choice for those insurers who wish to transfer data with multiple brokers over one service."

Lloyd's chief executive, Richard Ward, added: "Making Lloyd's an easy and efficient place to do business is a priority for Lloyd's and supporting efficient data capture and data transfer between brokers and managing agents is a key objective.

"We welcome IBM's interest and investment in providing services to the Lloyd's market."