A group of leading underwriters and insurance executives are planning to resurrect the troubled liability insurer The Underwriter.

Last week the directors of The Underwriter announced it had ceased writing new business and had placed the insurer into run-off.

But, according to sources, an independent group, which includes a leading ex-Lloyd's executive, has approached a number of financial institutions to raise capital to buy the brand and what is left of the business.

A source said: "It seems they were aware of the eventuality that The Underwriter would go into run-off. But they are still actively raising capital."

The Underwriter's problems have been compounded by Fitch Ratings, which downgraded it to BB+ from BBB with outlook negative.

Fitch expressed worries that, though the directors had assured the market that the run-off would be solvent "the agency believes that there is a possibility that the company could have insufficient funds to extinguish all of its liabilities."