Lloyd’s of London is making preparations to open a subsidiary in Europe to allow it continue trading on the continent after the Brexit. Lloyd’s Chief Executive Inga Beale said they have begun considering options, with Dublin, Paris and Frankfurt being the front-runners. They said they want to be ready as soon as Britain triggers Article 50 early next year. Several staff would need to be moved from London, to multiple sites across the EU. “We are now focusing our attention on having in place the plans that will ensure Lloyd’s continues trading across Europe,” said Beale, before adding “We ae making robust plans. We could open a subsidiary in one of the remaining EU countries that would enable us to passport.” A passport allows UK banks, insurers and fund managers to operate in the twenty-seven other EU countries. This passport is used by over five thousand UK firms.
The insurance company conducts a lot of business in EU, which it would need to protect in case an agreement isn’t reached. Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson said the firm needed a contingency in place, presumably because it seems the likeliest outcome. British banks are hoping the government and the EU would reach an agreement to allow them keep their passports. But if this fails, and there is a slim chance of the EU permitting the passports, then banks and other companies would need an alternative. Beale revealed that if Lloyd’s should lose passporting rights, it would also lose £800 million of premiums. Nearly £3 billion of premiums come from continental Europe, which amounts to 11 percent of the company’s total. The base in London will still be maintained, irrespective of the outcome. “This has been our home for 328 years and it will remain our headquarters.”