Lloyd’s chairman John Nelson came down firmly on the side of ‘Remain’
in a speech to the organisation’s AGM yesterday – an intervention which clearly made waves across the industry.
Nelson slammed ‘irresponsible’ politicians campaigning for Brexit, adding: “It is unrealistic (or in the words of John Major: “fantasy”) to expect the UK to be able to put itself in the same position as the EU trading bloc with these countries. Again, these agreements (of which there would need to be many) would take many years to negotiate.
Nelson also addressed the thorny issue of regulation, claiming there was no evidence Brexit would reduce the regulatory burden on the industry. He said: “If we wanted to maintain our trade with the EU, we would have to comply with EU regulation in any event, and I see no sign that the UK regulators themselves want to deregulate – in fact, regrettably, I see signs of the opposite.”
His words met with a mixed reaction from Insurance Business
readers. In comments left on our website, Martin Horsler said: “Very well put, hopefully some of those on the fence will read or listen but sadly they probably won’t even see it.”
However, David J Pye wrote: “Lloyd’s derives less than 15% of its premium from the EU, ‘the largest trading block in the world’, much of which is reinsurance which will come to Lloyd’s anyway and needs no free trade agreement to operate. Why is Europe suddenly so important to Lloyd’s when the USA is Lloyd’s largest market and South America and Australasia more important areas for growth? One year’s growth in these markets would compensate for any loss of business following Brexit.”
Whatever decision the British public makes will shape the insurance industry’s future. Is John Nelson right? We want to know what you think – you can email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
, or call us on 0207 193 0935.