Business News

India, Not China, Is Bigger Problem: Lloyds' Chairman

Doing business in India is more difficult than doing it in China, despite the recent spate of conflicts between Western companies and the Chinese authorities, Lord Peter Levene, chairman of Lloyd's Of London, told CNBC Wednesday.

Lloyd's of London Chairman on Earnings

In China, Levene said, Lloyds negotiated for three years to get a licence and is now established in Shanghai and abiding by Chinese rules, which "are not excessive."

"In India, for the last 7 years they've been promising us that they'll allow us to operate, which we've been unable to do since 1948 and they keep promising and deliver nothing. So we're not very happy," Levene said.

Lloyds is not worried about upsetting the Chinese authorities, because of the relatively small size of its business, he said.

"I think when Lloyds' business in China gets the same size as Google and Rio Tinto then we have to look very carefully how we're doing it," Levene told "Squawk Box."

"I have to say… laying politics aside there for a moment, that in our dealings with them they have behaved extremely well," he said.

Insurance is a very big part of the financial services industry in the UK and it had a very good performance, according to Levene.

But the country is "in the silly season" because of the election and the recovery is still "a fragile plant" for the banking sector, he added.