Archer threat to members to accept Lloyd's offer

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THOUSANDS of financially ruined Lloyd's of London underwriting members will receive no further assistance if they refuse to accept a pounds 900m offer from the market's authorities to help them meet pounds 5.5bn worth of losses, writes John Moore.

Underwriting members are being warned that if they do not accept, Dr Mary Archer, wife of the novelist Lord Archer, will not allow members to apply to a 'hardship committee' she runs on behalf of the market's authorities.

The hardship committee is designed to help underwriting members in financial difficulties organise an orderly pattern of repayments. Dr Archer's committee has insisted that members provide a full statement of their wealth and available assets.

Lloyd's has made the pounds 900m offer to distressed members in an effort to settle litigation out of court. Many are intending to reject the offer because they feel it is inadequate. They are arguing now that they are being pressured by the authorities to accept whatever terms are offered.

Management of a Lloyd's insurance syndicate once run by Ian Posgate is to be transferred to a specialist company, Market Syndicate Management, from underwriting agent AJ Archer and Alexander Syndicate Management.

A new board, formed of the syndicate's members, will supervise the running of the business.