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Greene King and Lloyd’s of London to pay reparations over founders’


Archives at UCL have also revealed that several banks including RBS, HSBC and Barclays also profited from the practice, which was abolished in the British empire in 1833

Pub chain Greene King and insurance market Lloyd’s of London have announced plans to make payments to organisations representing black people and other ethnic minorities in a bid to address the role of their founders’ in the Atlantic slave trade.

According to a Telegraph report, the two companies revealed that they would be making the payments on Wednesday night amid an ongoing assessment of the legacy of the slave trade among British society.

Records at University College London (UCL) reveal that one of Greene King’s founders, Benjamin Greene, owned at least 231 people in slavery and supported the practice enthusiastically. Greene was also paid the equivalent of around £500,000 in compensation by the British government for surrendering two plantations in the Caribbean when slavery was abolished throughout the empire in 1833.

Nick Mackenzie, Greene King’s chief executive, said the company will update its website clarifying its past links with slavery, adding that the group will make a “substantial investment to benefit the [Black, Asian, and minority ethnic] community and support our race diversity in the business”.

Greene King was taken private last year after it agreed a £2.7bn takeover deal with CK Asset Holdings, a firm owned by Hong Kong’s richest man Li Ka-Shing.

Meanwhile, one of Lloyd’s founding members, Simon Fraser, enslaved around 162 people and was paid the equivalent of £400,000 for giving up a plantation in Dominica.

 A spokesman for the insurance market said it will “provide financial support to charities and organisations promoting opportunity and inclusion for black and minority ethnic groups”.

The group said it will also review its organisation artefacts to ensure that they are “explicitly non-racist”.

Greene King and Lloyds are not the only UK organisations that have been shown by the UCL archives to have benefitted from slavery and compensation from abolition.

Banks such as Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (LON:RBS), Barclays PLC (LON:BARC), HSBC Holdings PLC (LON:HSBA) and Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) also benefited from payments relating to slavery.

The UCL archives have also connected RSA Insurance Group PLC (LON:RSA) and P&O Ferries to the trade.


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