AN EMERGENCY programme of reform is to be rushed through at Lloyd's of London to save Britain's oldest insurance institution from collapse, writes John Moore.
The reforms will lead to the loss of 2,500 jobs and the biggest shake-up in business practice in the 305-year history of the Lloyd's market.
Announcing the details, David Rowland, Lloyd's chairman, warned that if they were not supported both by the 20,000 market members, thousands of whom are facing financial ruin, and by its operating companies, 'then Lloyd's may have no future'.
However, Lloyd's said there would be no bail-out for those underwriting members in difficulty. Mr Rowland said pounds 340m had been earmarked from central funds to ensure that policyholders are paid if the 2,900 underwriting members facing severe personal financial difficulty fail to meet their obligations.
He added that losses in the latest trading accountcould rise to pounds 2.8bn, and a further pounds 1bn of losses could hit the members in the next account. 'In four trading accounts there have been pounds 6bn worth of losses,' he added.
Lloyd's is attempting to raise extra finance by allowing companies as well as individuals to become members of the market.
View from City Road, page 26
Business plan, page 27Reuse content