Lloyd’s bounced back into profit last year and issued a defiant message it was ready to help its clients meet the challenges of the global pandemic.
The market issued its annual results this morning which reported a profit of £2.5 billion compared to the £1 billion loss for the previous 12 months.
CEO John Neal (pic) said: “Whilst we are pleased to be announcing Lloyd’s return to profitability in 2019 and continued progress across our priorities, our primary focus right now is on supporting our customers and business partners in their time of need. I am confident in Lloyd’s ability to meet the challenges before it, and in doing so demonstrate the market’s unrivalled ability to support people, businesses and countries around the world in response to the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19.”
He added the market was look at how it could pay claims faster as businesses struggle with the impact on to the global economy from COVID-19.
“As we focus on supporting our business partners and customers during this time, it has also never been more important to accelerate progress on our ambition to create the most advanced insurance marketplace through the Future at Lloyd’s,” he said. “We have sharpened our focus for 2020, prioritising initiatives that will ensure around 80% of Lloyd’s business is digitally supported, together with fast tracking claims processing improvements and building the foundational data and technology infrastructure to support Lloyd’s future ecosystem.”
Lloyd’s net resources increased by 8.6% to £30.6bn, reflecting an exceptionally strong balance sheet and a central solvency ratio of 238%. The market said despite the high degree of turbulence in the financial markets over recent weeks, as at 19 March Lloyd’s solvency ratio stood at 205%.
The market paid £23 billion in claims with gross written premiums increasing by £400 million year on year to £35.9 billion. The Combined ratio of 102.1% a 2.4% improvement on 2018. Investment returns rose to 4.8% from 0.7% in the previous 12 months.
Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Lloyd’s Chairman, added: “The beginning of 2020 has proved exceptionally difficult as COVID-19 spreads rapidly around the world with devastating consequences for families, communities and the global economy. Now more than ever, our customers need us to be ready to support them through these challenging times.
“At Lloyd’s, we are laying the foundations to do this more effectively. By focusing on performance management, modernising the market and creating a market culture that will attract the best and brightest talent, we are making the market more resilient, more successful and better placed to meet our customers’ needs.”