6 Contingent liabilities

Where the Company enters into financial guarantee contracts to guarantee the indebtedness of other companies within the Group, the Company considers these to be insurance arrangements, and accounts for them as such. In this respect, the Company treats the guarantee contract as a contingent liability until such time as it becomes probable that the Company will be required to make a payment under the guarantee.

At December 31, 2008 these guarantees amounted to £1,273m (2007 £1,035m).