UK-based commercial insurer Axa Commercial Lines has opened two new branches in Bristol and Newcastle.

Insurer said both branches have teams in place and have already begun trading from their city centre locations.

Axa Commercial Lines managing director of intermediary Matthew Reed said both Bristol and Newcastle are important regional insurance markets. Bristol acts as a stepping stone into the south west as well as South Wales, another recognised insurance centre, while Newcastle clearly provides access into the north east and also across the country into Cumbria.

"We believe both cities should form a key part of our strategy to reinvigorate our branch network and that’s why we’ve chosen them as the locations for our first new branches," added Reed.

Reed also added that the insurer was in discussions with brokers about about other suitable locations for new offices.

"We want brokers to trade with us and make us their first port of call, so we need to make it easy for them to do so. A branch on the doorstep does just that," said Reed.