London can maintain its pre-eminent global position in specialist insurance and reinsurance after last week’s Brexit vote, according to Lloyd’s chief executive, Inga Beale (pictured) .
But it will need swift action by the government to conclude negotiations, and bring an end to uncertainty in the market, she wrote in the Financial Times.
And the London market will need continued access to the pool of talent available in the EU.
“While the UK government evaluates what its next steps are, Lloyd’s will press ahead by implementing our contingency plan, which is designed to ensure we can continue to trade in our key European markets,” she wrote.
While the Brexit terms are negotiated, Lloyd’s and the London market will retain all access to EU markets for the next two years, she added.
“No existing Lloyd’s policies will be affected by this result and business continues as usual through into 2017,” she said.
“Many people have asked since Friday whether London can expect to maintain its position as the global heart of specialist insurance and reinsurance,” she said.
“I strongly believe it can.”
Lloyd’s and the wider insurance industry have to ensure that it remains attractive and best placed to provide businesses with the risk transfer products they need.
“Ensuring we can continue to attract the best talent from across Europe and the globe will be critical to London preserving its status,” she said.
“Cutting off or restricting access to the diverse, multilingual, multi-ethnic talent pool in the EU is unthinkable and will make it that much harder to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving insurance market,” Beale added.
“The industry will be watching carefully to see what the UK negotiates.”
The London insurance market is the largest global hub for commercial and speciality risk — controlling more than £60bn of gross written premium, Beale pointed out.
It is a diverse market made up of more than 350 companies, contributing more than 20% City of London’s GDP and employing 48,000 people.
“That is why it is incumbent on all politicians to show leadership and bring negotiations to a swift and satisfactory conclusion,” she said.
“Uncertainty will slow down investment and stifle economic growth. The government must start the withdrawal negotiations now, and with authority. MPs are elected into public office to lead. Now, they must do so.”