Despite Gordon Browne's announcement of a 2% cut in basic UK corporation tax last month, Lord Levene has said that he will argue for further reductions, reports the Times.

Facing stiff competition from offshore tax havens such as Bermuda, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, Lloyd's has embarked on a campaign of modernisation. Efforts to remain competitive include the creation of a paperless trading system which Lloyd's launched at its new Shanghai office last week.

At present Lloyd's biggest market is in the US but Levene expects business in the Asian market to account for more than £5bn within ten years.

The Lloyd's Reinsurance Company China will act as a front for Lloyd's syndicates wishing to sell cover to Chinese insurers. Three Lloyd's syndicates already have representatives in the Shanghai office (Catlin, St Paul Travelers and CV Starr).