Lloyds chief shakes up boardroom ahead of strategy update

The Bank of Scotland owner is set to announce its new strategic plan in February. Picture: Scott Louden
The Bank of Scotland owner is set to announce its new strategic plan in February. Picture: Scott Louden
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Lloyds Banking Group boss Antonio Horta-Osorio has unveiled a top-level shake-up as the lender paves the way for its next three-year strategy update.

The restructure – which comes less than two months after the Bank of Scotland owner was fully returned to private hands – includes the departure of Andrew Bester, director of commercial banking, after five years with the group. He will be replaced by David Oldfield, currently head of the retail banking operation.

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

Lloyds, which also owns Scottish Widows and Halifax, said chief financial officer George Culmer will take on responsibility for the legal and strategy teams, as well as for Lloyds Development Capital.

Executive director Juan Colombas has been appointed to the newly created role of chief operating officer, heading a number of key departments including IT and group services.

Simon Davies – chief people, legal and strategy officer – is leaving after recently taking a leave of absence as his wife is unwell.

The changes, which will take effect on 4 September, come ahead of strategy discussions in the second half, with aims to announce the 2018-20 plan alongside full-year results in February.

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Horta-Osorio said: “The changes we are announcing today are fundamental to prepare the group for the next phase of its transformation under our upcoming strategic plan for the period 2018-20.

“They are a key step to ensuring the continued alignment of the bank’s capabilities and strategy as a simple, low-risk UK-focused bank with our customers’ evolving needs.”

The group said it will result in a “new, broader, and more diverse” executive committee.

• READ MORE: Lloyds boss snaps up shares amid talk of HSBC switch

It is thought the new management line-up sheds light on potential successors to Horta-Osorio, with Culmer said to be a possible contender.

The UK gGovernment sold its remaining stake in Lloyds in May nearly nine years after it was bailed out with taxpayer cash at the height of the financial crisis.

Lloyds said the taxpayer had made a profit of £894 million on the original £20.3 billion of cash pumped in as part of its rescue, which initially left it 43 per cent owned by the state.

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