Amlin has increased its underwriting capacity by £100m this year. Finance director Richard Hextall said the 28% increase was a result of organic growth within the company, which has increased the share of its Lloyd's Syndicate 2001 from 58% to 70%.

The Lloyd's insurer has secured a £50m credit facility from Lloyds TSB and Natwest.

“One way of gearing up as the market hardens is through a letter of credit,”Hextall said. “This was a couple of months' work.”

He said Amlin would continue to write the same class of business but was planning to increase its capacity even further in 2001.