One of the world's biggest insurance companies has taken the most aggressive step to date to put a c...
One of the world's biggest insurance companies has taken the most aggressive step to date to put a ceiling on its losses from the attacks on the World Trade Center, reports this morning's FT.
Swiss Re, in papers filed in a US federal court, has issued a legal attack on Larry Silverstein, leaseholder of the now destroyed twin towers, as it tries to stop two claims on Mr Silverstein's $3.5bn insurance policy that could double the industry's losses.
Swiss Re faces the largest direct exposure from the destruction of the WTC complex. On Monday it filed papers seeking a "declaratory judgment" over whether the terrorist actions comprised a single insured event or two, given that two aircraft slammed into two buildings.
There is no precedent for loss of this scale, although insurers argue that after-shocks from earthquakes or storms following soon after hurricanes are treated as the same insurable event.
National Air Traffic Services is under pressure from its bankers to request an emergency injection of funds from government, just three months after its controversial part-privatisation.
The Financial Times has learnt that bankers to Nats are encouraging it to seek help from Stephen Byers, transport secretary, to help it through the post-September 11 crisis in the world airline industry.
Ministers say they are braced for a request for a cash injection in the near future from the company which runs Britain's air traffic control system, although the extent of any help could be limited by EU state aid rules.
And Lloyds TSB, which has nurtured many leading UK retail banking executives, has turned to Eric Daniels, a former Citigroup executive, for its own top retail banking post.
Daniels replaces Dennis Holt, says the Financial Times, who was poached in August to become chief executive of Axa UK, the insurer, after less than six months as executive director of UK retail banking at Lloyds.
Peter Ellwood, Lloyds' chief executive, said Mr Daniels, 50, had been appointed after a worldwide search which included assessment of some very strong internal candidates. He joins the bank at the start of November.
The euro tumbled below 89 cents to the dollar for the first time since last month's terrorist attacks after Germany's top research institutes gave warning that Europe's largest economy was close to recession, says the Times.
The currency fell as low as 88.97 cents, its lowest for a month and a half, after the six institutes cut their forecasts for growth this year by more than a third to just 0.7 per cent.
Next year's outlook would be little better, the six said, claiming that Germany is set to grow by only 1.3 per cent. The institutes said: "The German economy is now on the brink of a recession . . . Next year the economy will again be better, with stimulus coming from recovery in exports and a stronger domestic demand."
David Blunkett yesterday increased speculation that either indirect taxes or borrowing will rise after admitting that "things look pretty bleak" for public spending, according to Business AM, the Scottish financial daily.
In an intervention likely to antagonise the chancellor, Gordon Brown, the home secretary added fuel to suspicions that future treasury spending plans will need a significant injection of new money if they are to be met after 2004.
And Merrill Lynch launched the first voluntary redundancy programme in its 115-year history yesterday when it sent an email to all 65,900 employees worldwide setting out the terms of any pay-offs, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The email, which arrived after London-based staff had left for the evening, offered a lump sum based on length of service, with a minimum of 12 weeks' salary and a maximum of 54 weeks. A payment equivalent to 40pc of last year's bonus will also be made.
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