Prudential Assurance staff recently went to investigate a client's premises near Soho, London, but quickly made their excuses and left.

The premises belong to notorious strip club Spearmint Rhino in Tottenham Court Road, which is part of a housing block owned by Prudential Assurance. But the club has become an embarrassment for the insurer, which has hitherto prided itself on its squeaky-clean ethical standards.

Police have stated that, in their view, “activity within the club, intentionally or otherwise, borders on offences of prostitution and permitting the keeping of a brothel”.

Many observers may have said the insurance business is built on “immoral earnings”, but Prudential is adamant that if there is any truth to the allegations, it will take “swift and serious action” against the club.