Lloyds boss snaps up shares amid talk of HSBC switch

Speculation in the City has linked Antonio Horta-Osorio with a possible move to the top job at HSBC. Picture: Robert Perry
Speculation in the City has linked Antonio Horta-Osorio with a possible move to the top job at HSBC. Picture: Robert Perry
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Lloyds Banking Group boss Antonio Horta-Osorio has splashed out £36,000 buying shares in the lender amid rising speculation over his future.

Horta-Osorio picked up 50,000 shares in Lloyds at 72.31p each, according to a stock market filing issued just a day after the UK government sold its final stake in the bank.

• READ MORE: Taxpayer bails out of Lloyds after nine years

The sale, which returned the Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows owner to private ownership nearly a decade after its £20.3 billion bailout, has sparked further questions over the chief executive’s future.

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Yesterday, Horta-Osorio insisted he was “very happy” at Lloyds, adding that “a job is never done”, dampening rumours he could be headed for the exit.

Speculation in the Square Mile has linked him with a possible move to HSBC, where Stuart Gulliver will step down as chief executive in 2018.

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Lloyds said that the taxpayer had made a profit of £894 million on the original £20.3bn of cash pumped in as part of its rescue.

In an accompanying statement, Horta-Osorio said: “Six years ago we inherited a business that was in a very fragile financial condition. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at Lloyds, we’ve turned the group around.

“But the job is not done. We’re going to continue to use our strong position to help britain prosper.”

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