A report has found Lloyd’s of London played a “significant role” in the transatlantic slave trade and have announced they will invest £52 million into racial equality.
Lloyd’s of London said they are “deeply sorry” and said they will address the current inequalities, however the company has been accused of “reparations washing” which is nothing more than a “PR” exercise.
The Johns Hopkins University made an independent review of links to the slave trade and found that the world’s largest insurance market between the 17th and 19th centuries.
They found that Lloyd’s had formed “part of a sophisticated network of financial interests and activities that made these activities possible.”
The researchers examined ledgers that shows insurers provided policies which allowed ships to leave Liverpool.
Bruce Carnegie-Brown, chairman of Lloyd’s, said, “We’re deeply sorry for this period of our history and the enormous suffering caused to individuals and communities both then and today.
“We’re resolved to take action by addressing the inequalities still seen and experienced by black and ethnically diverse individuals: which is why we’ve launched Inclusive Futures, a comprehensive programme of initiatives to help these individuals and communities progress from the classroom to the boardroom.”
Kehinde Andrews, a professor of black studies at Birmingham City University criticised Lloyd’s and said their efforts amount to “reparations washing,” adding, “This is PR – giving an apology, making some commitments, but this is not serious.”