Rowland calls Lloyd's 'an extremely good business'

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The Independent Online
DAVID ROWLAND, chairman of the Lloyd's of London insurance market, painted a confident vision of its future at the annual meeting yesterday, despite angry outbursts from some members.

Mr Rowland said: 'There are all sorts of realities about the past of this society. There is also an extremely good business here.' He said that although the recently reported results for 1991 showed a loss of just over pounds 2bn, the pure year figures marked the beginning of an improving trend.

But Lloyd's could face a wave of names' refusals to pay their losses. Sally Noel received one of the biggest rounds of applause when she said: 'Lloyd's makes double-glazing and time-share salesmen look like amateurs. Speaking for myself, only over my dead body will you get another penny.'

Mr Rowland's reply won an equally warm reception. 'I can't rewrite history, I can't invent money, no matter how angry you are or sad you are. We may still stumble and fail, but you have to accept that it is honestly done.'

Peter Middleton, chief executive, announced a concession for names who had applied to the Lloyd's hardship committee to reschedule the amounts they owed.

He said Lloyd's would let them keep amounts they recovered in order to generate annual income up to the hardship committee's threshold of just over pounds 17,000.