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Lloyds boss to step down after decade at the top

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·3-min read

The chief executive who steered Lloyds through its response to the financial crisis and the PPI scandal is to step down next year after the bank announced a major shake-up at the top.

Once Britain’s best-paid banking boss, Antonio Horta-Osorio will give up his job at the end of June 2021, after a decade in charge.

He said: “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.

“Everyone at Lloyds has unified around our purpose of ‘Helping Britain Prosper’, and our customers and communities are seeing our commitment to that now, more than ever.”

It will give Lloyds directors a year to find the next candidate for what is one of the most prestigious jobs in British banking.

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The bank will also hope that Mr Horta-Osorio will have helped Lloyds co-ordinate most of its response to the coronavirus crisis by then.

But his successor might be left with a tough job collecting the more than £8 billion in government-backed loans that the bank has given to help prop up British businesses through the crisis.

Lloyds is unlikely to face a bill from the loans – as the Government has promised to step in to pay back a majority of the cash if businesses cannot meet their debts.

However, bankers are worried about the PR disaster they could face if they send debt collectors after business owners who – through no fault of their own – are struggling to pay bills.

Mr Horta-Osorio joined Lloyds in 2011 after having headed up Santander’s UK arm.

His time in charge has largely been characterised by dealing with problems he was left by his predecessors.

The bank’s bill for the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) ended up costing it £21.9 billion.

He also helped the Government unwind the stake it took in Lloyds to bail it out during the financial crisis.

It was a stake run by Robin Budenberg, former chief executive of UK Financial Investments, which managed the Government’s stake in the banks it bought during the 2008 financial crisis.

It is an experience which is likely to be important to Mr Budenberg after he was unveiled as the new chairman of Lloyds on Monday.

Current chairman Lord Blackwell had already announced that he would be stepping down, and will leave early next year.

Mr Budenberg plans to join the board in October this year, before replacing Lord Blackwell in 2021.

He was appointed chairman of the Crown Estate in 2016, helping to manage a £14 billion portfolio. He will continue in this job, but step down from several others before becoming Lloyds chairman.

Lord Blackwell said: “I am delighted to welcome Robin Budenberg to the board as my successor. His knowledge of the group, combined with his broad experience in both financial services and other strategic advisory roles, give him an outstanding background to provide the board leadership required to support the continued transformation of the group.”

Mr Budenberg said: “Lloyds will play a vital role as Britain recovers from the current crisis. It is a great honour and challenge to take on the role of chair at this time, and I hope to continue Norman and Antonio’s work, initially alongside Antonio, in pursuing Lloyds’ core purpose of Helping Britain Prosper and in building the culture of the bank in order to support that purpose.”