Insurance market Lloyd’s of London has pledged to take action after a “distressing” report highlighting a culture of sexual harassment of women who work there.
It said it would set up a confidential process for reporting inappropriate behaviour and impose sanctions including possible life bans for those found responsible.
The pledge comes after a report by Bloomberg last week, drawing on the experiences of 18 women, described a deep-seated culture of sexual harassment at the centuries-old institution.
It said this ranged from inappropriate comments to unwanted touching and assault.
Lloyd’s chief executive John Neal said: “It has been distressing to hear about the experiences of women in the Lloyd’s market.
“No one should be subjected to this sort of behaviour, and if it does happen, everyone has the right to be heard and for those responsible to be held to account.
“I am determined that Lloyd’s offers a safe and inclusive working environment for everyone.”
Lloyd’s said it was undertaking an independent survey “to determine the scale and scope of the issue and to inform further action”.
There would also be a “comprehensive review of policies and practices across the Lloyd’s market”, plus training on prevention as well as reporting and supporting those who have been subjected to inappropriate behaviour.
It has already committed to hearing the accounts of the women who contributed to the Bloomberg article “in a safe and confidential space” as well as to changes to its nominations committee, adding two women.
Lloyd’s, which insures a range of complex risks from oil rigs to footballers’ legs, dates back to 1688.
Its first female chief executive, Inga Beale, stepped down last year and was replaced by Mr Neal in October.
The announcement of the “action plan” comes a day before Lloyd’s publishes annual results.
Last year it reported a loss of £2bn after a series of global natural disasters.