International Underwriting Association holds AGM and calls for speedy confirmation of new UK/EU trading relationship

Proposals for a new trading relationship between the UK and the EU must be set out as soon as possible, the International Underwriting Association (IUA) has urged.

The impact of the vote to leave was debated at the association’s annual meeting held yesterday (June 29). Following the meeting IUA chief executive Dave Matcham said that companies in the London insurance market would not wish to see an unnecessarily prolonged political process and are developing contingency plans in order to reassure customers.

“It is clear that companies are well prepared to respond to a new business environment and adapt their business plans as necessary,” he commented. “The ability to trade freely in European markets via the EU financial services passport is vitally important to our members and preserving this advantage must be a top priority in the exit negotiations.

“Without rights conferred by the passport, firms may have to obtain trading licences in order to continue conducting business in certain countries. This can be a lengthy process and so prudent examination is being applied to all potential scenarios.

“Companies are considering both what they need to do now and how they might respond to the negotiation. It is in the interests of all industry participants that uncertainty and disruption is kept to a minimum by an early confirmation of future trading terms.”

The IUA’s annual general meeting was held for the first time at new offices in 1 Minster Court and also saw publication of its annual report. Attendees heard how there are now nearly 800 individuals from member companies serving on market groups run by the association.

Addressing the meeting Malcolm Newman, chairman of the IUA said: “During my time as chairman, the IUA has spent much of its time working with other industry representatives to build consensus and enable the London Market to speak powerfully with a unified voice. Increased collaboration has allowed us to represent the interests of member companies much more effectively.

“With the result of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, the ability of our industry to act in a united manner, articulate its position and influence international developments will be more important than ever. It is essential that we engage fully to ensure that as many as possible of the trading benefits the London Market currently enjoys are retained.”