Rating agency Standard & Poor's has awarded the Lloyd's insurance market an A+(strong) rating for insurer financial strength.

But the number of syndicates assessed has fallen to 95, with 28 syndicates not assigned a performance measure in view of their lack of trading history.

A Standard & Poor's statement read: "Lloyd's market capacity remains largely unchanged at a little over £10 billion in 2000, and we believe that the Lloyd's insurance market will maintain its pivotal role as a centre for insurance expertise.

"A steady influx of new capital to the market continues, especially from insurance companies, and this is offsetting the trend for consolidation within the syndicate market.

"Average size has grown to almost £82m in 2000 – up from £71m in 1999."