St Paul Travelers is looking at opening further offices in Scotland and the west of England. This follows the opening this week of an office in Leeds.

The company said it was looking to "put more people into more places", to boost the company's regional presence.

It already has underwriting offices in London, St Albans Birmingham and Manchester.

The new operation, based in Leeds city centre, will focus on the company's core business lines of property casualty and professional risks, but will also target general commercial business.

Mike Bridge, assistant general manager at St Paul Travelers, said: "In response to broker demand and our own ambitions for growth, we are also targeting general commercial sectors including the manufacturing industry, large retail, hotel and leisure groups, property owners and warehousing."

The Leeds office will be headed by Carl Bickerdike for underwriting, and John Simms and Andy Corner for development.

Bridge added: "This is a crucial time in the develop-ment of our company.

"The current competitive market conditions mean that a successful insurer must continually add value to its business proposition."