Lloyd’s of London insurer fined £1m for drink-fuelled ‘boys’ night outs’ which saw senior executives harassing female staff members
A Lloyd’s of London underwriter has been slapped with a £1million fine for its raucous ‘boys’ nights out’.
Atrium Underwriters was found to have held the annual event until 2018 that included heavy drinking, initiation games and sexual remarks about female staff.
The nights out saw two senior executives taking part and leading the proceedings, Lloyd’s found.
Fined: Atrium Underwriters was found to have held an annual ‘boys’ nights out’ until 2018 that included heavy drinking, initiation games and sexual remarks about female staff
The fine of £1.05million is the largest ever imposed by the independent disciplinary committee at Lloyd’s, and its first for non-financial misconduct.
Atrium must also pay Lloyd’s costs of £562,713.
Lloyd’s said: ‘Two senior executives in leadership roles engaged in unprofessional and inappropriate conduct, including initiation games, heavy drinking and making inappropriate and sexualised comments about female colleagues, which were both discriminatory and harassing to female members of staff.’
The fine comes as Lloyd’s tries desperately to clean up its image. It banned daytime drinking for its own staff in 2019, but the 100 insurers that make up its market do not follow the same rules.
The area around Lloyd’s is renowned for its pubs and heavy drinking culture. Pubs at Leadenhall Market remain busy throughout much of the day and are full at night. Separately, Atrium was also found to have bullied a junior employee over several years.
Lloyd’s said Atrium failed to take adequate steps to deal with the ‘systematic campaign of bullying against a junior employee over a number of years and failed to notify Lloyd’s of the case’.
Atrium said it accepted the ruling, was sorry for the hurt caused and would ensure it never happened again.
The firm admitted serious errors in handling the matters and said it had been working to update its procedures.
One broker at Lloyd’s who refused to be named said: ‘I’m not surprised by this fine, it is a wake-up call for us all.’
Explaining his day he added that insurance brokers and underwriters convene in the Lloyd’s building at 11am and head out for lunch at 1pm, when the drinking begins.
Lloyd’s chief executive John Neal said: ‘Discrimination, harassment and bullying have no place at Lloyd’s.
‘We will not tolerate poor conduct in our market.’
Atrium chairman Christopher Stooke said: ‘We are sorry for the hurt that this caused and how difficult this has been for those affected.
‘The behaviour outlined in the notice of censure has no place in our business or our industry, and we recognise that we must go further to ensure that this situation is never allowed to happen again.’