Lloyd’s of London has approval for its post-Brexit EU outpost in Belgium.
The license approval came from the National Bank of Belgium for Lloyd’s Insurance Co., or the Lloyd’s Brussels outfit. Lloyd’s Brussels will be able to write non-life risks from the European Economic Area (EEA), so Lloyd’s customers can continue to access the market after Britain pulls out of the EU. Also fully Solvency II-compliant, Lloyd’s Brussels will start writing business beginning Jan. 1, 2019.
“Since the UK referendum on EU membership, Lloyd’s has been working hard to ensure that whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, our partners across the EEA will continue to enjoy access to Lloyd’s unique offering,” said Inga Beale, Lloyd’s CEO.
Vincent Vandendael will be chief executive officer of Lloyd’s Brussels in addition to his role as Lloyd’s chief commercial officer.
Belgium Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt said Lloyd’s will significantly strengthen Brussels as a financial center. “We are looking forward to welcoming more London-based insurance companies and brokers to Brussels, which lies at the heart of Europe and is home to the main European decision-making centers,” the finance official said.
Insurance carriers and reinsurers whose European headquarters have traditionally been London have been creating new EU subsidiaries in preparation for when Great Britain leaves the EU.
Lloyd’s announced its decision in March 2017 that Brussels was its choice for a European Union outpost.
“There’s a good talent base available in Belgium,” Beale told an American audience recently on why Lloyd’s chose Brussels. “Their regulators have a good reputation globally, and for Lloyd’s reputation, we thought it important to go somewhere where there is a robust regulatory regime and no question marks above the regulators.”
She noted that Lloyd’s 80 individual syndicates are being asked by regulators for a contingency plan in a post-Brexit world and that Lloyd’s has to be the contingency plan for them.
While a lot of Lloyd’s EU activity will still be delegated to London, many syndicates will choose to have a presence in EU countries to be closer to customers, she said.
Other insurers have looked to Luxembourg for their post-Brexit subsidiaries, including AIG, CNA, FM Global and Tokio Marine.
*A version of this story ran previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.