Insurance firm Lloyd’s of London has issued an apology and pledged to make payments for its ‘shameful’ role in the 18th and 19th Century Atlantic slave trade.

Representatives of black and minority ethnic people will receive payments from Lloyd’s of London. The company said it will now take measures to make their businesses more racially inclusive.

The insurance firm has been mentioned in a University College London database connected to slavery. The database also includes companies with links to Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays.

In a statement, Lloyd’s of London said: “We are sorry for the role played by Lloyd’s market in the eighteenth and nineteenth-century slave trade – an appalling and shameful period of English history, as well as our own.

“Recent events have shone a spotlight on the inequality that black people have experienced over many years as a result of systematic and structural racism that has existed in many aspects of society and unleashed difficult conversations that were long overdue.”

Some of the new initiatives announced by Lloyd’s include help enhance the experience of Black and Minority Ethnic talent in Lloyd’s market, review its employee and partner policies as well as its organisational artefacts.

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The company will offer financial support to charities and organisations that promote opportunity and include Black and Ethnic minority groups.