British Insurance Giant Lloyd’s of London Apologizes for Its Role in the Slave Market

British Insurance Giant Lloyd’s of London Apologizes for Its Role in the Slave Market

With the worldwide uproar over the racial prejudices that have been taking place for centuries, British insurance market Lloyd’s of London has come forward to apologize for its role in the slave market and share a few of its initiatives going forward according to a written statement by the company.

Lloyd’s has admitted that recent world events have brought light on the “inequality that black people have experienced over many years as a result of systematic and structural racism.”

“At Lloyd’s we understand that we cannot always be proud of our past. In particular, we are sorry for the role played by the Lloyd’s market in the eighteenth and nineteenth century slave trade—an appalling and shameful period of English history, as well as our own,” the company says in a statement.

Lloyd’s, which is more than 300 years old, was a dominant provider of insurance for both slave ships and the slaves themselves in the 1700s and 1800s, according to the New York Post.

“In acknowledging our own history, we also remain committed to focusing on the actions we can take today to shape our future into one that we can truly be proud to stand by.

“Over the last week we have listened carefully to our Black and Ethnic Minority colleagues in the Lloyd’s market. We have heard their frustrations, and it is clear that we must commit now as a market to take meaningful and measurable action.

“Building an inclusive culture is essential to the market’s future success and that is why culture sits alongside performance and strategy as one of the Corporation’s three strategic priorities.

Lloyd’s has announced a set of initiatives to help improve the experience of Black and Minority Ethnic talent in the Lloyd’s market:

1. Invest in positive programmes to attract, retain and develop Black and Minority Ethnic talent in the Lloyd’s market, including launching our ‘Accelerate’ Programme—a modular programme to develop Ethnic Minority Future Leaders across the market. 

2. Review our employee and partner policies, as well as our organisational artefacts, to ensure that they are explicitly non-racist. 

3. Commit to education and research. We will educate our colleagues and continue our research into the experiences of Black and Ethnic Minority professionals working in insurance, and share what we learn with the market. 

4. Provide financial support to charities and organisations promoting opportunity and inclusion for Black and Ethnic minority groups. 

5. Develop a long-term action plan in collaboration with our Culture Advisory Group, Black and Minority Ethnic colleagues and white allies who will inform our journey and hold us to account.

“There is a long way to go but we are determined that we can and will create a culture in the Lloyd’s market in which everybody can flourish.”