Interview

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TIME: The judge said the catalog of failings and incompetence was "staggering" and brought disgrace on one of the City's great markets. Is it a chastened Lloyd's that goes ahead?

Taylor: You have taken only half of what the judge said. He went on to say that he made no criticism whatsoever of Lloyd's as a regulator. So as far as we are concerned, this is history. The market is utterly different today because of the regulatory reforms that were started in the 1980s and work that has continued ever since.

TIME: So no taint of disgrace adheres to Lloyd's?

Taylor: Absolutely not.

TIME: The judge further said it was time litigation came to an end and suggested an independent review of the remaining cases. Will you respond to his suggestion to "pursue an overall solution"?

Taylor: We will continue to pursue our debts. The precise mechanisms by which we do that are to be determined, and we will certainly take account of the comments made by Judge Cresswell. He also made the point that he has no jurisdiction in this matter and this is simply a suggestion that he has put forward, and we certainly take it as being a helpful suggestion.

TIME: So you will respond positively?

Taylor: We have always known that once we got the result, we would need to consider how to carry the debt-collection process forward. But that is not something we are going to do in 24 hours.

TIME: You're confident that the judge exonerated Lloyd's of all charges of negligence?

Taylor: He has cleared Lloyd's on fraud and misrepresentation, absolutely.

TIME: In this age of corporate accountability, is it desirable or legitimate for the likes of Lloyd's to be immune from prosecution for anything other than fraud?

Taylor: This is exactly the way that it was dealt with in the Financial Services Act. It is the way it is dealt with in equivalent regulatory environments in this country and elsewhere.

TIME: Does Lloyd's have the right instruments to make sure that the problems the judge referred to will not recur?

Taylor: Yes, of course.

TIME: What if anything have you learned from all the losses and litigation of the past decade?

Taylor: We are talking about things that happened 15 to 20 years ago. We regret what happened then, and we said that on many, many occasions. The lessons were learned a long time ago.

For a full transcript of this interview see timeeurope.com