Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório to step down after decade in charge

·2-min read
Group Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio, arrives at Portculis House in London, on November 13, 2012, as he prepares to give evidence on Banking Standards to the Parliamentary Commission. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW COWIE        (Photo credit should read ANDREW COWIE/AFP via Getty Images)
Group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, António Horta-Osório. Photo: Andrew Cowie/AFP via Getty Images

Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) has announced that chief executive António Horta-Osório will step down from his role in 2021 after a decade in charge.

Horta-Osório has informed the board he plans to retire from Lloyds by June next year, kicking off the race to find a successor for one of the most high-profile banking roles in the UK.

“It is of course with mixed emotions that I announce my intention to step down as chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group by June next year,” Horta-Osório said in a statement.

“I am lucky to have had the support of a superb board and executive team on whom I will continue to rely as we complete our current strategic plan, transforming the group into the bank of the future.”

READ MORE: Lloyds was 'three months away from running out of money' in crisis, CEO says

Portuguese Horta-Osório took over running Lloyds in 2011 in the wake of the financial crisis. The bank was months away from running out of cash when he took the helm.

His tenure has seen Lloyds slim down to focus on domestic banking and turn around its performance. Horta-Osório has also overseen the transition back to full private ownership following a state bailout during the 2008 financial crisis.

However, while Lloyds has returned to profitability, the slimming down of operations has left the group’s share price 45% below where it was when Horta-Osório took over.

Horta-Osório has also faced criticism of his high pay, which saw him take home over £6m ($7.5m) in 2018. He was forced to defend his high pay to MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee last year and saw his take home cut earlier this year after the outcry.

READ MORE: Lloyds chief executive's pay cut by 28% to £4.7m after criticism

“I have been honoured to play my part in the transformation of large parts of our business,” Horta-Osório said. “I know that when I leave the group next year, it has the strategic, operational and management strength to build further on its leading market position."

Horta-Osório’s decision to serve notice came as Lloyds announced Robin Budenberg CBE as Lloyds new chairman. Budenberg, a veteran banker who helped manage the government’s investment into Lloyds after the financial crisis, will takeover from Lord Blackwell who is also retiring next year.

Lord Blackwell said in a statement he was “delighted” to welcome Budenberg and thanked Horta-Osório for his “outstanding contribution” to the bank.

Shares rose 3% on the leadership news.