Frances Ball 27 Mar 2019 01:43pm

Lloyd's of London threatens lifetime ban for harassment

John Neal, who became Lloyd’s of London CEO last year, announced immediate measures to address issues of harassment in the 331-year-old insurance market

Bloomberg’s article, which was published last week, included information from a number of women who said there was “an atmosphere of near-persistent harassment” at the market. Some had been physically assaulted.

One industry insider, speaking to Bloomberg, described Lloyd’s as “basically a meat market”.

After these revelations came to light, Lloyd’s announced a potential lifetime ban from the market for any person responsible, in addition to any sanctions they faced from their own employer.

The vast majority of people working in the Lloyd’s building are not Lloyd’s employees, but from the 100 insurance companies and 300 broking firms that operate there.

Lloyd’s also announced that it would set up an independent “access point” for reporting inappropriate behaviour. This might be an email, hotline or website.

One issue that Bloomberg highlighted was the fear that women had of their reputation being damaged, should they pursue their abusers in court or with internal HR.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg this morning, Neal explained the measures that will be put in place, and his stance on the allegations.

“This is not the Lloyd’s that I want to be a part of,” he said. “It’s just simply not acceptable in this day and age that any woman should feel unsafe.

“What I’m clear on is that whatever we say, we are not doing enough, we’ve got to ensure that everybody – whether it’s a woman or a man – should feel safe at any time of day doing anything that’s associated with the Lloyd’s market.”

Lloyd’s has been contacted for additional comment.