Trade group urges ban on ‘stuffy’ dress codes and face-to-face rules for Lloyd’s brokers

Brokers at Lloyd’s of London shouldn’t have to wear suits to work or even worry about being in the office at all after the coronavirus pandemic, an industry trade body has said.

LIIBA, which represents brokers at London’s historic insurance market and beyond, recommended that firms revise longstanding face-to-face trading policies and allow employees to work from home more often.

In its annual report, the body said remote working should be considered as effective for managing existing business, while the development of new clients and large group discussions should be carried out in-person.

“Our board has been engaged in a lengthy discussion about how we can return to a physical trading environment that preserves London’s unique offerings without losing the efficiency gains the pandemic has accelerated,” said Christopher Croft, chief executive of LIIBA.

Its recommendations included doing away with “stuffy dress codes” at the 330-year-old market, while a flexible approach should be taken to remote working rather than a mandatory “three days in and two at home” rule.

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Meanwhile, queues of brokers at underwriters’ desks to negotiate terms and receive policy endorsements should be brought to an end, LIIBA said, referring to one of Lloyd’s longest traditions.

“It is an important conversation and one we were conscious that the insurers were looking to the broking community to lead,” Croft added in a statement to Financial News. “So this is our start.”

The trade body said the balance between home and office working would not return to the status quo established before the pandemic. The recommendations were first reported by Reuters.

“We envisage a world where face-to-face meetings continue to be at the core of how London distinguishes itself from the competition, albeit in a more flexible environment with slightly less focus on EC3,” said Croft, referring to the Square Mile’s geographical postcode.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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