Lloyd's faces new onslaught

LLOYD'S OF LONDON, the insurance market, is bracing itself for a fresh onslaught this week, as it finally sends out outline bills on the amounts due to meet the cost of its pounds 5.9bn Equitas survival plan.

Next Friday, 32,000 indicative statements will be mailed to names, as members are called, in a move intended for last October but delayed by a wave of court cases in the UK and US over pounds 8bn of losses that the market sustained from 1986.

Extra cash calls beyond names' reserves at Lloyd's will be capped at pounds 100,000, but that will come as scant comfort to thousands who are, in effect, already bankrupt.

More than 50 Conservative MPs are among the losers, including the President of the Board of Trade, Ian Lang, whose department has to sanction Equitas.

"The indications we're getting are that names are going to give it a pretty hostile reception," said Christopher Stockwell, chairman of the Lloyd's Names Associations' Working Party, which represents 47 names action groups. "The whole Equitas route looks much worse than letting Lloyd's cease to trade."

But many doubted preliminary guidance would appear at all before the final bills, which are due by June.

Lloyd's says in 95 per cent of cases, the interim bills will be within pounds 15,000 of the final amounts. That supposes, however, that a pounds 2.8bn settlement will end litigation, while action groups are demanding pounds 4bn plus.

"Of course, the chorus of disapproval between June and now will be enormous," a Lloyd's spokesman said. "But names are weary of it all. They just want finality and out."

In the latest blow to the market, last Thursday Missouri became the sixth US state to launch fraud action against Lloyd's, alleging it covered up huge asbestos liabilities in the 1980s.

US sources say securities regulators in Texas, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Georgia are likely to follow suit shortly, while New York is also investigating.

Next week, California will also try to persuade a federal court to shift jurisdiction back to the state in its attempts to bar Lloyd's from doing business and to freeze its $10bn (pounds 6.6bn) US trust fund.

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

Recruitment Genius: Content Writer - Global Financial Services

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - PHP

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: From modest beginnings the comp...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - Financial Services - OTE £65,000

£15000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Loan Underwriter

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future