A statement of hope for the future of Lloyd's

Comment

A statement of hope for the future of Lloyd's

It has been clear for a long time that only the most radical plan would be able to save Lloyd's from being crushed beneath the burden of unpaid debts, mounting losses, and confidence-sapping litigation. David Rowland and Peter Middleton, to judge by their restructuring programme announced yesterday, have gone a good way to meeting these requirements, and deserve the credit for it. The complex plan to wipe the slate clean of Lloyd's pounds 6bn liabilities, settle all names' litigation with a promise that they can walk away from the nightmare of seemingly endless losses, and provide the basis for a "new Lloyd's" to trade profitably into the future, is only a blueprint. It is as much a rough guide to the sums needed as a statement of hope. But it is the first real indicator that Lloyd's has a serious chance of getting on top of its problems.

Yesterday's package, including a pounds 2.8bn settlement for names in an effort to persuade them to give up litigation, is also a vindication of those countless aggrieved investors who have fought hard - enduring vilification, threats and worse - to secure a better deal. It is not just the bad luck of natural disaster and the unforeseeable retrospective legislation in the US on asbestos claims that has ruined so many names. It is also greed and incompetence on a grand scale inside the market. Names are getting a better deal, and would be well advised to accept it with some modification. Most of the parties involved now appear to be heartily sick of the whole sordid affair, and the litigation whose main beneficiaries are lawyers.

That being said, some names may well want to argue about the fairness of the Lloyd's grand plan in the months of negotiations to come. Looking at the cash calls, it appears that Lloyd's is still looking after its own rather too well, at the expense of names. Agents, putting in a mere pounds 200m, are getting off very lightly. As for brokers and auditors, who have much to answer for, the fact that they are getting off scot free cannot be right. Some rebalancing of the burden must occur, if this plan is to succeed in making the new, rather than breaking the old, Lloyd's.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there