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Anthony Hilton: Courage behind the insurers’ recovery

Lloyd’s powered London back to the number one spot in global insurance

A reception on the trading floor of Lloyd’s of London on Thursday in aid of an excellent charity, the Windsor Leadership Trust, brought home how the City can recover from even the biggest of self-inflicted disasters.

Twenty years ago, the insurance market was in as bad a state as banking is today – brought down by greed, incompetence and a lack of ethics. But it pulled back from the brink and put together a plan that delivered reform, renewing itself so successfully that businesses spawned by Lloyd’s powered London back to the number one spot in global insurance.

What tends to be forgotten though is the courage of the regulators, who also gambled on the market’s ability to survive when it would have been so much easier and safer to have closed it down. One fears that, were similar problems to afflict Lloyds today, it would not be so lucky. The modern regulator would not take such a risk, we would not have the insurance powerhouse that is the modern Lloyd’s.