Lloyd's invested £19.9m in data swapping platform Project Blue Mountain last year, accounts reveal.

And the year before, the Corporation of Lloyd's put £1.9m into the project, now known as Kinnect.

The total deficit before tax in 2002 deteriorated to £5.6m from a surplus of £58.3m in 2001, as it is also facing a higher wage bill for its top people.

Chairman Lord Levene is paid £400,000 plus a £34,000 pension contribution. His predecessor, Sax Riley, was paid £300,000 for a three-day week.

Chief executive Nick Prettejohn received £410,000 for his work in 2002, topped up with bonuses totalling £310,000.

The central fund's net assets totalled £476.2m by the end of 2002, an increase of £196.1m on the year before.

The corporation's staff pension scheme fell further into the red during the year as a result of stock market falls.

The scheme is £67m short of what it needs to pay its members as the value of its assets fell by £356m during 2002.