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Lloyd's of London launched an investigation yesterday to determine how a confidential list of the "names" that finance the insurance market was made public.
For the first time in three centuries, the code of silence at the oldest insurance market in the world has been broken with the disclosure of the identities of thousands of figures who financed the market in 2000 and 2003.
The list, which includes prominent judges, senior lawyers, former ministers and top military figures, comprises the so-called names from its syndicates who stand surety for any claims that may arise.
The names reportedly range from Lord Strathclyde, the shadow leader of the Lords, and Simon Bowes Lyon, a cousin to the Queen, to Dennis Amiss, the former England cricketer, and Mary Archer, the wife of the Tory peer.
Yesterday, Lloyd's of London said that the disclosure of the list of names, which features in an annual Blue Book available to all members, would prompt an immediate investigation.
"Any breach of trust will be investigated by Lloyd's," said a spokesman. "The Blue Book is made available to names on an annual basis for their own use. It does not contain personal or financial details on Lloyd's names."
The list reportedly included 44 lords, 18 ladies, 12 serving or former MPs, 18 holders of the OBE, 12 CBEs and 14 MBEs.
It was thought to have been leaked by a disgruntled City executive, a former millionaire who expects to become bankrupt due to financial crises caused by several factors. He has reportedly risked his reputation with Lloyd's to highlight the plight of hundreds of other executives who he claims were misled by Lloyd's and its syndicate agents. Lloyd's names have unlimited liability with those people now being asked to make up for shortfalls in policies underwritten in 2000 and 2001, during which 11 September and a series of dot.com disasters took place.