Lloyd's chiefs blast pace of technology change

The chief executive and the chairman of Lloyd’s have blasted the slow pace at which the specialist insurance market's businesses are moving from paper to electronic trading.

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The chief executive and the chairman of Lloyd’s have blasted the slow pace at which the specialist insurance market's businesses are moving from paper to electronic trading.

Richard Ward and Peter Levene said in a joint statement issued as the market published its interim figures that while progress had been made in modernising market technology the move by insurers from paper based to electronic processing was “still not fast enough”.

“It is vital for the market that every business that operates here moves to electronic trading,” they said. “We will not hesitate from taking tough action to make sure that this happens.”

Earlier this year Levene told of meeting of insurance leaders in London that there were “whole pockets of the London market that are letting the rest of us down”.

But Lloyd’s CIO Peter Hambling insisted last week that the future role of technology at Lloyd's must be “determined by the marketplace, not by IT”. He told Computerworld UK that electronic trading was being assisted by Lloyd’s providing online repositories of supporting data and electronic claims files, but the main trading initiatives would have to come from the market.

Hambling also reiterated that setting standards for IT and business processes was the preferred role of the market's IT function, rather than making any push to dictate terms about technology infrastructure.

“For any collaborative marketplace, standards are key, be they verbal, legal or electronic," he said.

“Electronic trading, from attracting business to helping brokers set contracts and assess risk, is about making business easier and the marketplace more efficient.”

The market's preferred strategy is to provide online data repositories to support the core activities of its members, access to which is generally included in the subscription fees Lloyd’s members pay for floor space in the building. The market is now also providing access to electronic claims files to speed up information sharing.

Other repository access services are understood to be charged to members based on usage.

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