Tuesday 24 September 2019 11:52 am

Lloyd's of London boss calls for end to daytime drinking in wake of damning harassment survey

The boss of Lloyd’s of London’s warned insurers today to curb their daytime drinking habits or face being expelled from the insurance community.

Chief executive John Neal told City A.M. that he did not think it was sensible for workers to drink a pint at lunchtime, calling on the industry to put an end to its reputation as one the City’s last bastions for boozy lunches.

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The historic marketplace has vowed to make sweeping company changes, including ending the firm’s boozy culture, in light of a damning company survey released today showing nearly one in 10 of its workers have witnessed sexual harassment in the last year.

Almost 500 people – or eight per cent – had seen some form of sexual harassment in the last year, while 22 per cent said they had witnessed people in their organisation turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour.

The unprecedented survey comes in the wake of misconduct allegations reported by Bloomberg that have rocked the insurance sector’s reputation in recent months.

Gender balance targets, new business conduct standards and partnerships with mental health charities are all being introduced as part of the efforts to turn a new leaf at the 331-year-old insurance group.

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As part of its reformation, Lloyd’s has also sought to crackdown on workers consuming alcohol during working hours.

Asked whether insurers should still be allowed to drink at lunchtime, Neal told City A.M.: “Personally, I think not”.

“It’s up to firms what they decide, but if people are falling behind or behaving unacceptably, they can’t be part of our community.”

On a diversity panel this morning Neal added: “We’re experts in risk but when it comes to culture we are a little bit behind the curve”.

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The survey, conducted by the Banking Standards Board on behalf of Lloyd’s, included responses from more than 6,000 people.

Threats of lifetime banks have already been made for those found guilty of inappropriate behaviour following a raft of complaints about bullying and sexism.