On 30 March 2017, Lloyd’s of London confirmed that it will establish a new subsidiary in Brussels, which will be operational for the 1 January renewal season in 2019. The announcement follows on immediately from the UK Government’s formal triggering of the Brexit process on 29 March 2017.
Lloyd’s move is specifically designed to avoid the insurance market losing business when the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019 and so that it can carry on underwriting without interruption to business that might be caused by Brexit. The establishment of the Brussels operation means that Lloyd’s will be able to continue to underwrite policies in all 27 EU and 3 EEA states after the UK leaves the EU in 2018.
Lloyd’s presently intends that the Brussels operation will just be an additional subsidiary with just 100 jobs moving from London. However, that position could change if the UK Government fails to secure financial services “passporting” rights (which presently allow UK financial businesses to freely conduct business in other EU states) as part of the Brexit negotiations with the EU. Lloyd’s move follows AIG’s announcement earlier in March that it is to establish an EU subsidiary in Luxembourg to serve EU clients after Brexit.