Activist steps up pressure to force prosecution of Lloyd's

Lloyd's activist David Mainwaring is stepping up pressure on the EC to take the UK government to the European Court of Justice.

Mainwaring is to lobby support by urging members of Chester Street, Drake Insurance and the Creditors of Independent Insurance Group (CIIG) to complain to the European Commission.

If the EC receives more complaints it will make it harder to let the government "off the hook", said Mainwaring.

This follows last Monday's meeting of the EC's Petitions Committee in which MEP Roy Perry presented a report alleging that successive UK governments had failed to properly apply EU insurance Directives relating to Lloyd's.

After the meeting, Mainwaring wrote to financial services commissioner Fritz Bolkestein to urge him to continue infringement proceedings against the government.

Mainwaring warned against setting a precedent: "If you condone the British government's failure to prosecute Lloyd's and if you withdraw from the infringement proceedings you will have signalled to the world that member states can pick and choose Directives at will."

Mainwaring claimed the indication from Bolkestein was that the action against the British government would not be pursued because, in future, the industry would be regulated by the FSA.

He is unhappy because he claims that in the case of Independent Insurance, the FSA regulation was inadequate when it was in difficulty.

Another of Mainwaring's issues is that rules dictate that after a complaint is received a reply should be given to the complainant within a year. This case has taken four years to get to this stage.

A Treasury spokesman said its position remains unchanged. "We believe the UK government implemented in full all EC obligations relevant to Lloyd's," he said.