One insurer believes the Confederation of British Industry is ‘no longer able to fulfil its core function’

Aviva, Zurich UK and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) have each cancelled their membership to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) following allegations of misconduct at the not-for-profit organisation.

The Guardian revealed earlier this month (April 2023) that more than a dozen women alleged various forms of misconduct by different senior figures at the CBI.

The allegations included rape, sexual assault, the sharing of explicit images to junior female staff and the use of cocaine at events.

City of London police are currently investigating the allegations.

Multiple insurers have issued statements confirming they will withdraw their membership from the CBI.

A spokesperson for Aviva said: “In light of the very serious allegations made and the CBI’s handling of the process and response, we believe the CBI is no longer able to fulfil its core function – to be a representative voice of business in the UK.

“We have therefore regrettably terminated our membership with immediate effect.”

A spokesperson for Zurich UK added: “We are deeply concerned about the allegations made about the CBI and have decided to terminate our membership with immediate effect.”

And a spokesperson for the ABI said it had become ”untenable to retain our membership”.

“We have informed the CBI of our decision to leave with immediate effect,” it added.

‘Deeply sorry’

The Guardian also revealed seperate complaints were made against Tony Danker, who served as the CBI’s director general from 2020.

Danker, who was dismissed from the CBI, said in a tweet: ”Many of the allegations against me have been distorted, but I recognise that I unintentionally made a number of colleagues feel uncomfortable and I am truly sorry about that.”


Meanwhile, a statement from the CBI board said it shared the “shock and revulsion” of the allegations made about events within the organisation and said it was “deeply sorry”.

The CBI has since suspended all policy and membership activity until an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in June.

At the EGM, proposals will be put forward for a “refocused” CBI.

The statement added: “We are taking steps to address our failings, but recognise these are not yet sufficient to sustain the confidence of our colleagues, members and of the broader business community.

“We know it will take time to rebuild trust in our purpose and culture and to give our team and former colleagues the space to heal.”

The CBI claims to represent around 190,000 businesses.

Other businesses that have cancelled membership amid the allegations include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), National Grid and Lloyd’s Banking Group.