Independent Insurance denied the company was in trouble to potential employees, even after its provisional liquidation was announced on the London Stock Exchange, Insurance Times has learned.

An industry source, who accepted a job as a technical services controller at Independent on May 20, claimed staff at the company lied continually to her as it fell into disarray.

She had been interviewed for the job two days after chief executive Michael Bright's sudden departure from the company on April 19.

“I had concerns at the time but they told me he was pursuing other interests,” she said.

She then had to wait until the entire board had “signed-off” the position before it was offered to her.

“It was a fantastic package – about £15,000 more than I was on, car allowances, profit shares, overseas trips, everything you could want,” she said.

Five days after she accepted the job and went on “gardening leave”

from her position as a senior underwriter, independent actuaries Watson Wyatt withdrew their support for Independent.

“I called to ask if everything was OK and was told by Independent's personnel office I shouldn't believe everything I read in the press,” she said.

She called again when the London Stock Exchange posted notice of the company's provisional liquidation.

“They denied it but I finally got a call a couple of hours later from personnel, saying they didn't need me to start on Monday, although I'd signed a contract with them,” she said.

“I had four weeks that, if they'd been honest, I could have spent getting another job.”