Ill winds blow up more losses for Lloyd's

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MORE than 1,700 underwriting members of a Lloyd's of London insurance syndicate are expected to be told that their insurance losses have climbed to more than pounds 230m.

The syndicate, 745, has suffered from worse than expected losses from Hurricane Hugo of 1989 and the European wind-storm damage of 1990.

The managers of the syndicate, KPH Underwriting Agencies, last year forecast that losses could rise to pounds 132.5m, but that forecast could 'be subject to material change'.

In the next few days the syndicate's managers are expected to confirm the new forecast and current figures with accountants and insurers that have covered the agency against possible legal action.

Already a professional insurance broker, Ted Benfield, who is a member of the syndicate, is forming an action group to protect the interests of the 1,750 underwriting members. He has called on the Lloyd's authorities to insist that the syndicate's 1989 trading account be re-audited.

New figures for another troubled insurance syndicate, 475, are being prepared by managers following the death last month of the professional underwriter Roy Bromley. The figures are expected to show that losses have worsened from the reported figure of pounds 54m.

AJ Archer, the leading Lloyd's underwriting agency, has stressed that Alexander Syndicate Management, a Lloyd's-backed company, manages the business of syndicate 126, which ceased trading 10 years ago. The Archer agency provides the services of certain members of its staff to Alexander Syndicate Management. Two Archer directors serve as directors of the Alexander Syndicate.