Belfast Telegraph

Lloyd's of London eyes up non-UK locations amid Brexit planning

Insurance market Lloyd's of London is ramping up Brexit contingency plans with hopes of unveiling an alternative location for part of its business by February.

It is understood that Lloyd's has shortlisted five EU cities that could house a portion of its operations after Brexit in a bid to protect its European revenues.

The EU accounts for about 11% of its business.

After the referendum, Lloyd's had announced it would consider its options for maintaining access to the EU single market -including a subsidiary - but at that time did not outline a timetable or suggest it had narrowed down a list of potential locations.

A Lloyd's spokesperson said: "Following the referendum we committed to looking at the options that would allow the Lloyd's market to continue trading seamlessly with the EU. This included establishing a subsidiary model amongst others.

"We will continue to develop our plans on creating a subsidiary and will provide a detailed update to the market on the progress we have made early next year.

"We believe it is in the interests of the City to have ease of access to the EU's single market and we will continue to work with both the industry and the Government in any way we can on this."

Financial services, including insurance firms, have been anxiously awaiting news over whether the Government will be able to secure passporting rights to grant free access to the EU's single market.

Experts have speculated that rival financial centres like Dublin, Frankfurt and Paris could end up siphoning off some of the City's business and taking advantage of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

A subsidiary within the EU would allow Lloyd's to continue trading across the bloc, without needing to apply for authorisation in each separate member country.

The insurance market is likely to outline the potential costs of a partial relocation to members when it suggests a new site in February.

That number could be in the tens of millions, covering higher operating costs, regulatory requirements, and capitalisation.

EU regulators may force Lloyds to capitalise a subsidiary separately, which means a portion of its cash will be put into untouchable reserves that will underpin the business.