Lloyd's of London may ditch formal attire after 335 years


Lloyd’s of London may ditch formal attire after 335 years as group of brokers call for ‘stuffy’ dress code to be scrapped

  • Nearly 50,000 people work at broking and underwriting firms based at Lloyd’s
  • Those based in the building are expected to abide by a strict clothing policy
  • London & International Insurance Brokers Association has called for a shake-up 

One of the City’s grandest institutions could ditch suits for the first time in its 335-year history.

A group representing brokers at Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance market which built its reputation in the maritime industry, wants to scrap the ‘stuffy’ dress code.

Nearly 50,000 people work at broking and underwriting firms based at Lloyd’s – and those who are based in the building are expected to abide by a strict clothing policy.

A group representing brokers at Lloyd's of London, the world's largest insurance market which built its reputation in the maritime industry, wants to scrap the 'stuffy' dress code

A group representing brokers at Lloyd’s of London, the world’s largest insurance market which built its reputation in the maritime industry, wants to scrap the ‘stuffy’ dress code

Men are asked to wear a suit or jacket with trousers and ties – although ties are no longer strictly enforced – and women should dress in a ‘smart business style’. 

But the London & International Insurance Brokers Association (LIIBA) has called for a shake-up that also includes letting people work from home.

Lloyd’s of London was started in 1686 in the small coffee house of Edward Lloyd in the City – and now handles insurance for businesses all over the world.

Based in a Grade I-listed building near The Gherkin, it operates as a market where policies are bought and sold on its trading floors by traders, independent brokers and wealthy individuals who underwrite policies.

Men are asked to wear a suit or jacket with trousers and ties ¿ although ties are no longer strictly enforced ¿ and women should dress in a 'smart business style' [File photo]

Men are asked to wear a suit or jacket with trousers and ties – although ties are no longer strictly enforced – and women should dress in a ‘smart business style’ [File photo]

Long queues usually form at desks for brokers and underwriters to haggle over the terms of policies before sealing them with a handwritten signature and a company stamp.

But LIIBA has said when staff return to physical trading there should be ‘an end to… long queues for brokers at Lloyd’s for simple policy endorsement, dress codes and any insistence on being full-time in the office’.

Christopher Croft, LIIBA’s chief executive, said: ‘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.’

He added: ‘The balance of home/office working will not return to the pre-March 2020 status quo.’ Lloyd’s of London did not comment last night.

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