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LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - Insurers in the Lloyd's of London market have switched 45% of their business to an electronic platform, ahead of target, the platform said on Monday.
The insurance industry has been slower to move to electronic trading than other parts of financial services. But Lloyd's, which relies heavily on face-to-face trading, this month announced that it plans to launch two electronic exchanges from next year, building on the existing platform.
Lloyd's, which is facing competition from cheaper rivals, introduced targets last year to speed up automation. Its syndicate members face charges if they fail to comply.
The target of a 40% switch of relevant business to Platform Placing Ltd (PPL) by the end of the first quarter was met or exceeded by 80% of members, PPL said.
The next target is for 50% of such business to transfer to the platform by the end of June.
However, a large chunk of business at Lloyd's, including some types of reinsurance, cannot be carried out on the platform.
Brokers also have to sign up to the platform by June, though some are reluctant.
"We have had a sharp increase in the numbers of brokers signing up," said Bronek Masojada, chair of the PPL Board.
"Nevertheless, the rate of growth is flattening and we cannot afford to get complacent."
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn Editing by David Goodman)