Protest movement divides Lloyd's members

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A SPLIT has emerged among the Lloyd's underwriting members wishing to register a protest about the pounds 2bn losses in the troubled insurance market.

An extraordinary meeting is due to take place next Monday on the trading floor of Lloyd's. This has already provoked dissent, particularly among those wishing to raise a protest.

Hundreds of Lloyd's underwriting members are said to be tendering their resignations from the Association of Lloyd's Members, which claims to represent the interests of more than 8,000 of them, including many professionals who work at Lloyd's.

Claud Gurney, an underwriting member leading the initiative responsible for the extraordinary meeting - called to criticise the way Lloyd's has conducted its affairs - said yesterday that many members of the market were 'dismayed about the attitude of the Association of Lloyd's Members and its support for the establishment of Lloyd's. They have said they will resign from the association'.

The association, led by Neil Shaw, chairman of Tate & Lyle, and Mark Farrer, a lawyer with the firm that represents the Queen, has urged support for a resolution that supports the council, the governing body of Lloyd's. Mr Gurney's faction does not wish to express any confidence in the ruling council and is trying to gain support for resolutions that will lead to financial relief for up to 6,000 underwriting members facing the largest share of more than pounds 2bn losses.

'Our initiative has already done much on your behalf, to promote accountability, honesty and constructive dialogue,' says Mr Gurney in a letter circulated to underwriting members.

'Please send us a financial contribution for our expenses (we suggest pounds 25) because we have been funding the meeting initiative personally so far.'