British Insuarance Firm Lloyd's Apologizes For Role In Slave Trade, Commits £52 Million For Reparations

British insurance company Lloyd’s of London said it is “deeply sorry” for its strong links to the transatlantic slave trade and will now commit around £52 million ($63.8 million) to a program of initiatives as reparation for its past wrongdoings.

Lloyd’s, which began operating in 1688 as the trade in humans flourished, will invest £40 million ($49.1 million) in slave trade-affected regions and spend around £12 million ($14.7 million) on a diversity program to boost the recruitment of black and ethnic-minority employees in the commercial insurance market, as well as bursaries for black students to study in the UK.

We’re deeply sorry for this period of our history and the enormous suffering caused to individuals and communities both then and today,” Bruce Carnegie-Brown, Chairman of Lloyd’s said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The move comes after independent research discovered that the 335-year-old insurance market played a “significant role” in facilitating the 300-year transatlantic slave trade, labeled by the UN the largest forced migration in history.

More than two million Africans were estimated to have died en route from their countries to the Americas, where slaves were used for forced labor between the years 1500 and 1800.

Research published this month by Black Beyond Data, based at Johns Hopkins University, found Lloyd’s insured the largest slave-ship owners in the early 1800s and also facilitated relationships between slave-ship captains, ship owners, and insurance underwriters. According to the findings of the Mellon Foundation-funded investigation, the organization also actively protested the abolition of the slave trade across the British Empire in 1807. The Black Beyond Data team examined material from Lloyd’s archive, including ledgers where insurers recorded policies for ships leaving Liverpool as part of the trade, according to Alexandre White, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University.

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