One recently relaunched broking group is hoping that Lloyd's is less selective of its membership than a certain bank-turned-pub in its locality.

To celebrate moving into their new offices, six staffers and two directors of the company were imbibing quietly in a nearby establishment.

An eyewitness reports: "The staff were cautioned for smoking at the bar, which they strongly denied, then stubbed out their cigarettes on the floor."

As the first three offenders were ejected from the bar, a director was heard to cry: "You can't ban me, I'm a Lloyd's broker."

Unfortunately, he was swiftly reminded that this was no longer the case – the company is considering reapplying after losing its membership earlier this year following a financial fiasco.

The eviction follows a long-held tradition – in 1980 a group from the same company was banned from the same pub twice in one night.