June 18, 2009

Lloyd’s of London Pressured by UK Government to Quit Doing Business With Burma - SHAME ON YOU!

The Irrawaddy News
Lloyd’s Pressured by UK Government to Quit Burma
written by By WILLIAM BOOT
October 3, 2008

Major international insurer Lloyd’s of London is being pressured to stop doing business with Burma.

The British government has written to Lloyd’s expressing disquiet at its continued Burma links through brokers and affiliates.

The government wrote to Lloyd’s chairman Lord Levene. The contents of the letter have not been disclosed by either side, but the London Observer newspaper reports that it has led to Levene writing to underwriters and agents “urging them to consider” their continued involvement with junta-linked business.

The British government action follows increased public campaigning against Lloyd’s by the human rights group Burma Campaign UK after the company’s announcement of 2008 first half year global profits of US $1.76 billion.

The London-based NGO termed Lloyd’s profits in Burma “blood money” and called for a campaign to pressure the company to get out of Burma.

Lloyd’s refuses to disclose details of its Burma business, but it is believed to provide insurance guarantees for air and sea transport—key elements of the junta-controlled economy.

The loss of such underwriting could seriously upset the junta’s foreign business operations.

“This is humiliating for Lloyd’s. For too long they have profited from helping to finance Burma’s brutal dictatorship,” Burma Campaign UK campaigns organizer Johnny Chatterton told The Irrawaddy.

“Lloyd’s is breaking government guidelines and damaging their reputation. If they don’t end their involvement in Burma soon they will be branded by Burma in the same was that Barclays was with Apartheid South Africa and Exxon is with climate change.”

No comments: