London Risks 'Hemorrhaging' of Business: Executive

The UK should find the right balance between risk and safety, or risk a hemorrhaging of business out of London, Lord Peter Levene, chairman of insurance giant Lloyd's of London chairman warned in a speech late on Tuesday.

Sharon Lorimer

"We run a free market and if London is not allowed to march forward as it should, it won’t be Lloyd’s that suffers, but it will be London," Lord Levene, said in notes prepared for his final speech as Lloyd’s chairman.

"Every question facing British society, politics and economics comes down to achieving competitive and sustainable growth. To making money which will cut deficits, create jobs and fund public services," he said.

Elected Chairman of Lloyd’s in November 2002, Lord Levene warned that the "self-imposed flagellation" of the financial services industry risks an exodus of business out of London.

He called on Britain’s financial services industry to "get it right, return it to respectability, and stop bashing ourselves on the head."

Lord Levene also criticized the risk aversion in the European economy and said: “As we lurch from laissez faire economics to the nanny state, we need to think about what will encourage banks to start lending and entrepreneurs to thrive.”