Plans to modernise the London Market will go ahead, despite patchy support.

Last year, 350 brokers, syndicates and organisations were asked to sign up to the London Market Principles (LMP2001) by the end of March 2001, to make London a more attractive business centre.

Yet although 80% of brokers and 65% of the Lloyd’s Market have confirmed they would like to see the claims pay-out process sped up, according to the International Underwriting Association (IUA), only 30% of the Company Market businesses have agreed in writing to the principles.

Support from the Company Market has remained static since mid-February, when global leaders such as Axa Re refused to send back their letter of consent to the LMP2001 steering group.

At the time, steering group joint chairman Stephen Riley said it would take longer for IUA members to sign up, because of the need to consult their parent companies. “We are confident that there will be more shortly,” he added.

Last week, the IUA admitted it was “disappointed” by the Company Market response but said it would press ahead to implement the reforms.

A spokesman for Lloyd’s originally said a “critical mass” of about 65% to 75% backers across the board was needed for the changes to be enforced.

An IUA spokeswoman said: “Obviously the support is not as much as we expected, but the feedback indicates organisations do back the principles.”

She thought much of the Company Market probably wanted to see the changes in place before adopting them.

Paul Marks, project officer manager for LMP2001, said the programme would now go ahead.

“We are not asking people to sign up any more, but are now making the changes with companies, whether they have signed the letter of intent or not.

“There are ongoing issues that need to be aired, but people are already implementing the reforms.”