MPs voice concern at market's regulator

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The Independent Online

The Treasury Select Committee will tomorrow roundly condemn the performance of regulators at Lloyd's with publication of its report into self-regulation in the insurance market.

The MPs want responsibi- lity for regulation of Lloyd's transferred to the Treasury, and not the securities and investment board. They want a fresh investigation of events at Lloyd's covering how names were recruited during the 1980s.

The report specifically criticises Sir Alan Hardcastle, chairman of Lloyd's Regulatory Board, for appearing to want to "draw a veil" over the issue of an alleged cover-up from investors of losses in the 1980s.

The report says: "We are alarmed at his failure to launch an enquiry into the allegations of concealment contained in a 53-page document ... presented by solicitors Memory Crystal."

The attack on Sir Alan will embarrass the Bank of England as he is chairman of the board of Banking Supervision examining the Barings collapse.

The report states: "The system of self-regulation at Lloyds is fundamentally and irretrievably tarnished. Our main concern is that regulation at Lloyds should give assurance that failures of the past will not recur."

The committee is expected to produce a wide-ranging report on City self- regulation before the summer recess.