?The former deputy managing director of Independent Insurance, Philip Condon, took the stand this week, refuting the prosecution’s allegations that he had deliberately withheld information from the company’s actuaries.

Condon, who together with former managing director Michael Bright and finance director Dennis Lomas, denies charges of conspiracy to defraud, said he was not aware of the extent of under reserving at the company, which collapsed spectacularly in 2001.

He said: “The difficulty with these things, or the benefit of looking back in hindsight, is that you know at a particular stage you didn’t have a grip.

“At the time, you are hoping to have [a grip].”

He also insisted, under repeated questioning from prosecution counsel, that he had not tried to keep information from the actuaries and that he had not been aware of many of the financial problems building up in the company’s books.

Last week, Condon gave evidence that the board of Independent had refused to accept his resignation following that of Bright because it did not believe he was responsible for the company’s problems.

Lomas began to present his defence on Tuesday as Insurance Times went to press.

He said that Independent’s actuaries, Watson Wyatt, had not had certain key information.

The case continues.