SVB is developing an electronic trading platform which will enable brokers to place liability risks via its specialist liability service company Novae Underwriting.

Brokers will be able to use the platform, which could be launched by the beginning of 2005, to place professional indemnity, medical malpractice, and directors and officers' risks with Novae.

It is understood that Novae is developing the platform in conjunction with at least three unnamed brokers.

The company, which began trading this year, generated premium income of £9.5m in the six months to 30 June, and is expected to hit £30m for the full 2004 year.

Novae said it is targeting £100m in premium income for 2005.

Novae is headed by former PRI chief underwriting officer Peter Matson.