People Moves

Chairman Of UK's Lloyds Banking Group To Leave Early

Tom Burroughes, Editor, London, 18 May 2009

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Sir Victor Blank will step down as chairman of UK-listed Lloyds Banking Group before June 2010, in what could be the first move to restoring the bank’s credibility among shareholders after its much-criticised takeover of UK banking rival HBOS.

Sir Victor decided to retire early in the face of a potential shareholder revolt against Lloyds’ management at next month’s annual meeting and a lack of public support from UK Financial Investments, the body that runs the taxpayers' 43 per cent stake in the bank.

"I believe it is the right time for the group to appoint a new chairman," Sir Victor said in a statement issued today.

Lloyds provides a number of financial services including private banking. Through its acquisition of HBOS, the bank now holds Insight Investment, the UK asset management company.

Although Sir Victor is close to Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister wants to maximise investor confidence in Lloyds’ management, as UKFI considers selling some or all of the government’s stake within the next year, reports said.

Eric Daniels, the Lloyds chief executive who admitted there was not enough time to carry out normal due diligence before the HBOS merger, wins some breathing space for now but could be in jeopardy when a new chairman is appointed, media reports said.

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