Lloyd's announces a reduced capacity for some syndicates

Lloyd's announced this week that it will have a capacity of £14.9bn in 2004.

Confirmation of the 2004 capacity follows completion of the franchise board's first business plan approval process.

Lloyd's confirmed that a number of managing agents would have substantially reduced capacities in 2004.

ACE Syndicate 2488 will have a capacity of £550m, compared to £725m in 2003.

St Paul syndicates 5000 and 779 will have a combined capacity of £329m, compared to £455m in 2003. Markel Syndicate 3000 will have a 2004 capacity of £190m, compared to £260m in 2003.

The capacity of Marlborough Syndicate 1861 will drop by more than 50% to £90m, according to unconfirmed figures distributed by Moody's last month. This compares to £185m in 2003.

Last year, Liberty confirmed that the capacity of its Lloyd's syndicates 190 and 282 would increase by 31% to £793m.

Talbot syndicate 1183 will have an increased capacity of £288m, compared to £194m in 2003.

Noble Group chief executive Ben Thomson said: "It's a good result for Lloyd's to get the same amount of capacity as last time. It's a reflection of the fact that Lloyd's has good protection of its past through Equitas.

"It's a good sign that Lloyd's has managed to replace most of its qualifying quota share by permanent capital," Thomson added.

Lloyd's chief executive Nick Prettejohn said the market's 2004 capacity figure, which maintains the 2003 capacity level, demonstrated discipline in the market.