Horta-Osorio facing allegations
Investors seek assurances over Lloyds CEO ‘affair’
A PR machine has swung into action after a tabloid newspaper reported that the married Portuguese banker was involved in an extra-marital affair.
Lloyds said he had broken no company policy, but his indiscretion comes at a sensitive time for the bank as the government contemplates what to do about the remaining taxpayer-held shares. The bank is also cutting jobs and closing branches.
Horta-Osorio took the top job at the bailed out bank five years ago after impressing at Santander UK and has successfully restored Lloyds to profit and the dividend list.
But Lloyds was forced to defend his expenses after The Sun newspaper alleged the married chief executive ran up a £3,826 hotel bill while spending time with another woman.
Some investors now worry that he could be forced to leave part-way through restructuring the bank which owns Bank of Scotland and Halifax.
However, Lloyds said Mr Horta-Osório had paid his own personal expenses while attending a conference in Singapore.
In a statement, Lloyds said: “Antonio has the full confidence and backing of the board in his role as chief executive, and he remains committed to the bank and delivering on its strategic ambitions.”
Although Mr Horta-Osorio’s positon appears secure, the issue has prompted shareholders to urge Lloyds to look closely at the succession plan.