US-based Arch Insurance Group is set to launch a £100m UK property and casualty insurer, subject to FSA approval.

An Arch spokeswoman confirmed the insurer's plans this week, saying the start-up would write directors' and officers' (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) business.

The spokeswoman did not reveal a launch date for the new insurer, but said Arch was "fairly well advanced" with its application for a UK licence.

The spokeswoman was "not authorised" to comment on the capitalisation of the new insurer, but sources said the company would be capitalised at £100m.

Arch opened a London branch office, Arch Capital UK, in September 2003. Arch Capital UK chief executive Robert Van Gieson will head the new authorised insurer.

Van Gieson was formerly chief executive of CNA's global operations and, prior to that, chief executive of Chubb Insurance Europe.

In January 2004, Arch Capital UK appointed former Liberty Mutual finance director Graham Ward as chief financial officer.

Arch Insurance Group is a division of Arch Capital Group, a Bermudian insurer.