Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace acknowledges historic ties to slave trade

Insurance marketplace - Lloyd's of London Building
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The 334-year-old firm and Greene King have pledged to make amends for their pasts.

The massive Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace and Greene King have announced their intentions to make amends for their involvements in racist history, particularly the slave trade that took place in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The firms have been forced to take a hard look at the disturbing portions of their company histories.

The insurance marketplace and the owner of a string of pubs and breweries are both taking a closer look at the role their companies played in a racist history. This move was spurred by the Black Lives Matter protests that have been taking place for several months in the United States following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

University College London researchers documented the roles that several important early figures in both Lloyd’s of London and in Greene King played in the enslavement of hundreds of people and the compensation for the losses after 1833 when the British Empire abolished slavery.

Both firms announced their intentions to invest in the recruitment of more Black, Asian and other minority employees. Moreover, they will also both be offering financial support to charities that focus on the promotion of inclusion and diversity. Neither of the companies specified their monetary pledges and neither labeled these new commitments as reparations. However, they both expressed profound regret for the part their companies played in a sinister past.

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Lloyd’s of London insurance history

The Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace has acknowledged shameful portions of its history.

“There are some aspects of our history that we are not proud of,” read a Lloyd’s statement. The insurer found its roots in marine insurance, starting in 1686. “This was an appalling and shameful period of British history, as well as our own, and we condemn the indefensible wrongdoing that occurred during this period.”

This move by the insurance marketplace is only the latest in a growing anti-racism trend in the country. Great Britain has seen a growing outcry against racist symbols, which has become particularly vocal in recent weeks. Protests have been taking place throughout the United Kingdom, including acts of vandalism against Winston Churchill monuments and a heated debate over the best lens with which to view and judge historical figures.

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