Lloyd's of London pays out over slave trade links

Lloyd's of London pays out over slave trade links

Lloyd's of London, the centuries-old insurance market, was found to have played a 'signficant role' in the transatlantic slave trade
Lloyd's of London, the centuries-old insurance market, was found to have played a 'signficant role' in the transatlantic slave trade. Photo: BEN STANSALL / AFP
Source: AFP

Lloyd's of London, the insurance market, said Wednesday it would spend £52 million ($64 million) on racial-equality causes after a report found it played a "significant role" in the transatlantic slave trade.

Lloyd's again apologised for its role -- and was immediately accused of "reparations washing" over its planned payments.

"We're deeply sorry for this period of our history and the enormous suffering caused to individuals and communities both then and today," Lloyd's chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said in a statement.

"We're resolved to take action by addressing the inequalities still seen and experienced by Black and ethnically diverse individuals."

Carnegie-Brown added that Lloyd's would launch Inclusive Futures, which he described as "a comprehensive programme of initiatives to help these individuals and communities progress from the classroom to the boardroom".

A spokesman for Lloyd's said £12 million would be spent on the programme, in addition to $50 million "of impact investments into global communities".

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Lloyd's said the programme was in response to research conducted by Black Beyond Data, based at Johns Hopkins University in the United States, that explored its historical links to the transatlantic slave trade.

"Black Beyond Data's research makes clear that Lloyd's, which is over three hundred years old, played a significant role in enabling the transatlantic slave trade and economy, forming part of a sophisticated network of financial interests and activities that made these activities possible," the insurance market said Wednesday.

Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies at Birmingham City University, hit out at Lloyd's after it stopped short of direct reparations.

He said the efforts by the firm amounted to "reparations washing".

"This is PR -- giving an apology, making some commitments, but this is not serious," British media quoted him as saying.

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Source: AFP

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