Lloyd's has warned energy underwriters about price cutting.

The Lloyd's franchise board recently convened a meeting of Lloyd's energy underwriters to address concerns about capacity flooding into the energy market.

An Ascot spokesman said: "Energy underwriters got together, as there has been signs that capacity in the energy market has been increasing and that, consequently, pressure was being put on rates.

"We don't want to see a freefall in the market."

But while Lloyd's is aware that rates may decrease as a result of an influx of capacity, the market has acknowledged that Lloyd's is at the mercy of external market forces.

The Ascot spokesman said: "The problem is Lloyd's can't dictate what happens outside of the market."

Brokers have been forecasting softening rates after soaring premiums and diminishing losses brought a return to profit for underwriters.

Research carried out by Chaucer concluded that energy rates had recently trebled.

The prospect of profits has attracted competition, particularly from Bermuda players. Axis is estimated to be writing energy premiums worth $250m (£157.7m) this year.

Willis said that energy market rates had been softening, particularly in the physical damage sector.

According to one managing director of a Lloyd's managing agent, the franchise board staged the recent energy underwriters meeting in an effort to "limit rate reductions and a further softening of the energy market".

The spokesman said there had been "no malice" in the meeting.

Earlier this year, the franchise board convened a meeting of Lloyd's marine hull underwriters to discuss the poor performance of the marine hull market.