Brexit is the greatest structural challenge facing the London company market, said the chairman of the International Underwriting Association, Malcolm Newman.
The UK’s break from the EU is affecting insurers, brokers and clients in varying ways, but none felt as informed as they might expect to be, affirmed Newman who spoke at the IUA’s annual general meeting on July 25.
“The IUA and the wider market has urged regulators not to create unnecessary new barriers to business and was pleased to welcome the Prudential Regulation Authority’s planned approach to the authorization of EU branches operating in London,” he said.
“This promises to help preserve London’s unique depth of insurance expertise and resource and suggests a high degree of future supervisory cooperation between the UK and EU,” he added.
“We were disappointed that our desire for a comprehensive free trade agreement based on mutual market access for our customers seems now to be impossible,” Newman affirmed. “Businesses need to continue to access our market’s specialist risk capacity and we continue to work closely with the market to influence positive outcomes from the Brexit negotiations.”
Newman said it is frustrating the negotiations are not as well advanced they need to be. “We sincerely hope that the next few months will lead to successful conclusions to satisfy our market’s needs and preserve our unique trading advantages of talent, capital and innovation.”
During his speech, Newman also reviewed how the need to make transacting business with London an easier and more efficient process is driving take up of electronic trading. This fundamental change to the way insurance contracts are placed is steadily growing as the number of businesses classes available on the London Market’s Placing Platform system increases, he said.
IUA members are working to introduce electronic placement along with other modernization facilities and next year will see these utilities funded on a user-pays basis.
IUA represents international and wholesale insurance and reinsurance companies operating in London or London.
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