I was not surprised to read Gareth Rose’s article (1 July) which revealed that the UK’s banking sector has plunged to tenth in the world, nor was it a shock that Lloyds was almost down among the 25 worst performers in the category of “biggest banking losers”.
I do have some sympathy for Antonio Horta-Osorio, the chief executive tasked with undoing the damage done to the former Bank of Scotland by what was euphemistically described as “handshake banking”.
Mr Horta-Osorio must wonder what he has let himself in for. However, there are glimmers of hope for better things to come. At the Lloyds Banking Group annual general meeting I was given the personal assurance of the chairman, Sir Winfried Franz Wilhelm “Win” Bischoff, that the bank will co-operate with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Hornet team in investigating possible fraud at the bank’s Edinburgh headquarters and to that end all records back to the 1980s will be retained.
Sir Win also promised, in answer to another of my questions, that he would not be taking any of the multi-million pound loans available to his predecessors which had repayment terms that don’t kick in till the borrower is 101.
It is progress of sorts, I suppose, and a move in the right direction with a view to reversing our plummeting reputation in world banking circles.