Lloyd's decision to head for China has received some mixed reviews, but one leading chief executive of a Lloyd's managing agency recently gave a tub-thumping speech showering praise on Lord Levene's visit to the country.

He extolled the virtues of the Lloyd's brand going global and was impressed with Levene's political skills and influence with Tony Blair.

Delegates listening to the speech were duly impressed, so at the end of his plaudit, one delegate asked the chief executive in question the obvious question: "So will you be writing Chinese business in the next few years then?"

A look of horror came across the countenance of the chief executive. "Good God no," he replied. "Are you mad? You can't trust the Chinese! Their tunnels collapse and if they have a flood, 10,000 people are killed!"

Oh well, looks like it's back to the drawing board...