THE London P & I Club grew strongly in the year ended March, recording a five per cent increase in assets to US$355 million. Direct entered tonnage for the protection and indemnity club grew 10 per cent to 26.5 million gross tonnes. Russell Peters, committee chairman of the London Club, said: 'It is most encouraging to note that we have consolidated our financial strength in all areas and have gained a significant increase in the club's directly entered tonnage in the early months of 1995.' The annual report of the London Steam-Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association, published this week, shows how the growth has come despite a strict underwriting policy which meant that 240 potential members, with more than 650 vessels, were declined. Nineteen new members were taken into the club, but most of the growth came from existing members. During the year, fleet replacement by members meant the average age of vessels entered in the club fell to 16 years, two years below the world average. The club's total assets of $355 million included an accumulated surplus of $38 million. The supplementary call for the 1994-95 policy year was reduced to 30 per cent from 40 per cent. No further call is expected for that year. An improved claims experience helped the London Club figures. Mr Peters said the improvement reflected an improvement in the quality of the entered tonnage.