Saturday 3 December 2016

Lloyd's of London cautions on Brexit as first half pre-tax profits rise

Carolyn Cohn

Published 22/09/2016 | 11:09

‘If we are not able to access the single market... the inevitable consequences for Lloyd’s will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU,’ its chairman said. Photo: Bloomberg
‘If we are not able to access the single market... the inevitable consequences for Lloyd’s will be that we will transact the business onshore in the EU,’ its chairman said. Photo: Bloomberg

The Lloyd's of London insurance market posted a 22pc rise in pre-tax profits to £1.46bn in the first half of 2016, as it cautioned on the impact on its business of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

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Lloyd's of London, which houses around 90 insurance syndicates, focuses on specialty insurance such as marine, energy and political risk.

Investment returns also rose, to 1.8pc, from 0.6pc a year ago, Lloyd's said in a trading statement on Thursday.

Lloyd's of London chairman John Nelson has said the world's leading speciality insurance market would have to operate some business from the EU after Brexit if Britain fails to keep so-called passporting rights for financial companies to sell products across the bloc.

The Brexit vote was "a major issue for us to deal with," chief executive Inga Beale said in the statement.

"We are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd’s continues trading across Europe."

Lloyd's saw a sharp rise in its combined operating ratio to 98pc, compared with 89.5pc a year earlier. A figure below 100pc indicates an underwriting profit.

The insurance group said claims had increased in 2016, mainly due to wildfires in Fort McMurray, Canada.

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