Pub chain and insurance hub 'sorry' for slave links
The Greene King Brewery Museum in Bury St. Edmunds, UK, and the area surrounding the Lloyd's building in London.
The Greene King pub chain and the Lloyd's of London insurance market have apologized for their historic connections to the slave trade.
One of the founders of Greene King owned a number of plantations in the Caribbean.
In the meantime, marine insurance, which focused on Lloyd's, lived on the transatlantic slave trade.
Both organizations have apologized and Lloyd's has announced it will donate to charities that represent Black, Asian, and Ethnic Minorities (BAME).
Greene King said it would make a "significant investment for the benefit of the BAME community" after consulting with his staff on how best to use this money.
The move from Lloyd's and Greene King was first reported by the Telegraph in the UK.
Lloyd's, which was founded in 1688, insured slave ships. It is often praised as the world's leading insurance market focusing on areas such as maritime, energy and political risks.
In a statement, Lloyd's said: "There are some aspects of our history that we are not proud of.
"In particular, we regret the role the Lloyd's market played in slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries."
"This has been an appalling and shameful time in English history as well as our own, and we condemn the unjustifiable wrongdoing that has occurred during that time."
Lloyd's said it would provide financial support to charities and organizations to promote opportunities and inclusion for BAME groups.
It has also launched a number of new initiatives aimed at developing black and ethnic minority talent within the organization.
"In recent years, Lloyd's has driven a number of positive programs to improve culture in the market. We have made progress but not enough."
Acknowledge the past
Following George Floyd's death in police custody in the United States last month, pressure has increased on companies around the world to deal with links to slavery and combat racial inequality.
"Racism - the ideology used to justify slavery - is a legacy that still shapes the life chances of people with African and Caribbean heritage in Britain," said Dr. Katie Donington, history lecturer at London South Bank University.
"It is an important step for companies with historical ties to transatlantic slavery to start recognizing the past."
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While welcoming Lloyd's commitment, she added: "The offer to invest in BAME charities and organizations needs further consideration - how much is invested and who receives the money?
"This is a story that is specific to the black community, and prioritizing forms of reparative justice towards offspring groups must be a priority."
While companies may not have been willing to comment in the past, the international outcry and large-scale demonstrations after Mr. Floyd's death have made speaking a "business imperative."
Dwayna Haley, senior vice president at Porter Novelli, a communications firm that advised companies like McDonald's and Pepsi, said earlier to the BBC: "What drives this is the understanding that we don't care about the people we serve. " we could lose market share, "she says." It's a strategic move. "
The Greene King brewery and pub chain was originally founded in 1799 by Benjamin Greene, who owned highly profitable plantations.
His son Edward took control of the brewery in 1836 and it was renamed Greene King in 1887 after merging with a local brewery.
When slavery was abolished in 1833, the British government collected huge amounts of compensation. However, this money was not paid to the slave, but to slave owners for their "loss of human property".
Benjamin Greene was one of thousands who received payment. Details of the amounts are listed in a database of the University College London (UCL).
Nick Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer of Greene King, said: "It is inexcusable that one of our founders benefited from and argued against abolition in the 19th century. While this is part of our history, we are now focusing on the present and the future. "
To address this problem, the pub chain will "make significant investments to help the BAME community and support our racial diversity in the business."
The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and HSBC were among a number of banks that the Telegraph found to be linked to the slave trade.
Royal Bank of Scotland: In a 2009 report, the bank admitted that individuals who were partners or directors of the predecessors to the RBSG (Royal Bank of Scotland Group) "may have owned slaves themselves or otherwise directly with slave companies were connected in the British West Indies ". .
The company, founded in Edinburgh in 1727, also found evidence that other partners of its predecessors may have been partial owners of "ships involved in slave trade trips in the 18th and early 19th centuries".
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"As an organization with more than 300 years of history, these important and painful issues have a place in our history. We recognize our responsibility to deal with them," said RBS in a statement.
The bank, which is currently majority owned by the UK government, added that it had "carefully and thoroughly examined its previous links with slavery" and would examine "what else we can do as a bank", including financial contributions to BAME- Groups.
Lloyds Banking Group: John White Cater was President of London and Brazilian Bank and received compensation for five claims on property in Jamaica. Eight former companies associated with the group have links to applicants or beneficiaries in the UCL database.
A spokesman for the Lloyds Banking Group said: "A lot has changed in the 300-year history of our brands, and although we have a lot in our heritage that we can be proud of, we cannot be proud of everything. Like any institution, which is this. " interwoven with the history of our country, we have to recognize our past and learn from it. "
They added that the company "would deliver better results for our colleagues and customers. This is our goal. We can do more, we can do better, and we will do it together."
Barclays: A manager, a founding subscriber and three directors of Colonial Bank are listed by UCL as applicants or beneficiaries. It was merged with Barclays in 1917. The claims include nine directed by John Bloxam Elin regarding estates in Jamaica.
"Like other institutions, the history of Barclays is being investigated after the recent events. We cannot change what lies ahead, we can only change how we do it," said a Barclays spokesman.
"As a bank, we are committed to doing more to further promote our culture of inclusiveness, equality, and diversity for our colleagues and the customers and clients we serve."
HSBC: According to the UCL database, George Pollard was a trustee for a claim related to the Calhoun property in Nevis. Mr. Pollard was manager of the London Joint Stock Bank, which eventually merged into HSBC, now the UK's largest bank.
HSBC did not immediately respond to the BBC's request for comment.
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