The chief executive of Lloyd’s of London has confirmed that the insurer will be setting up a subsidiary outside of London as a result of Brexit, and has said that the location will “hopefully” be announced by the end of March.
In an interview with Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday morning, Inga Beale said that Prime Minister Theresa May’s path for Brexit means that the insurer “will have to go ahead with [its] contingency plans”.
In a highly-anticipated, agenda-setting speech on Tuesday this week, Ms May signalled that she is willing to drag Britain through the hardest of Brexits, risking the loss of billions of pounds and plummeting GDP, if both Brussels and the UK’s Parliament fail to give her what she wants.
She said that Britain will leave the EU’s single market – despite backing membership less than a year ago – to regain control of immigration policy and said she wants to renegotiate the UK’s customs agreement and seek a transition period to phase in changes.
Ms Beale said on Friday that as a result of this, her business was going to lose crucial licencing.
“So we’re going to be setting up a subsidiary somewhere else in the EU – a country that we hope will remain in the EU – and that is how we are going to provide seamless coverage to our customers,” Ms Beale said.
Asked about which locations might come in question for the subsidiary, Ms Beale only said that Lloyds had so far ruled out Malta. She said that she hopes that a decision will be made by the end of the first quarter of the year.
Several top executives of major banks have this week indicated that Brexit could spur them to shift thousands of jobs out of the UK.
On Wednesday, UBS chairman Axel Weber said that about 1,000 of the Swiss bank’s 5,000 employees based in London could be affected by Brexit, while Stuart Gulliver, HSBC’s chief executive, said the bank could relocate 1,000 staff to Paris.
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