A team of FBI agents has flown into London to investigate fraud allegations at Lloyd's, writes Yvette Essen.

The representatives from the US attorney general's office are looking into charges that Lloyd's brokers and agents attempted to recruit US investors even though they were aware of the potential asbestos claims in the 1970s and 1980s.

The £8.1bn losses nearly led to the collapse of the market and left thousands of Names in the red.

Under US law, it is illegal to send misleading information through their postal system.

The ten-day investigation will be held at the American Embassy in London. It is thought former Lloyd's chairmen Murray Lawrence, David Coleridge and Sir David Rowland have already given evidence.

Adrian Beeby, spokesman for Lloyd's, confirmed the investigation was taking place. “We are co-operating with the FBI and assisting them with their inquiries,” he said.

Chris Stockwell, head of the Lloyd's Names Association and an adviser to United Names Association, believes the move by the US authority signifies further litigation.

“The federal postal inspectors have a huge amount of evidence from court cases and interviews,” he said.

“I do not think anyone would spend that much time on an investigation without bringing a prosecution case against Lloyd's.”