The Britannia P&I Club is to begin underwriting from its Hong Kong office as early as mid-2018. A move that is good news for more than 50% of the members of Britannia who operate from Asian countries, and is a boost to Hong Kong’s aspirations to being a marine insurance hub.
Britannia’s current chief executive officer, Tim Fuller made the announcement at the Club’s Asian Members’ Forum in Hong Kong on 21st November. The Asian Members’ Forum outlined Britannia’s strategy, which has included the Club strengthening its presence in the region, with its Managers having recently taken over a longstanding Exclusive Correspondent with offices in both Tokyo and Kobe, Japan (renamed Tindall Riley (Britannia) Japan Ltd).
Further augmenting Britannia’s presence in Hong Kong, Mr Fuller will take up the position of chief executive at the Hong Kong facility from 1 January 2017.
The Board recently announced there would be no P&I General Increase to its advance call for 2018/19. A further US$10m capital distribution was also announced to P&I mutual members based on premium for ships on risk at midnight BST 17 October 2017. This latest capital distribution follows a sum of US$20m that was handed back to members earlier this year.
Britannia also said that there would be no General Increase for 2018/19 to its advance call on FD&D with the Club now paying the first USD7,500 of costs (up from USD5,000) for any FD&D dispute free of deductible.
As further evidence of its financial strength, Britannia has set its P&I and FD&D release calls for all open policy years and 2018/19 at 0%.
There are rumours in the Hong Kong market that Steamship Mutual P&I Club is also in the throes of receiving an underwriting licence – an announcement is expected shortly.
From the 13-member International Group of P&I Clubs, 12 have a presence in Hong Kong but about half lack an underwriting facility at present.