Former boss of Bank of Scotland owner Lloyds Banking Group knighted

The former boss of Bank of Scotland owner Lloyds Banking Group who steered the lending giant back into private ownership after its financial crisis bailout has received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Antonio Horta-Osorio is recognised for his services to the financial sector, as well as his voluntary work for mental healthcare and culture.

The Portuguese banker, who left Lloyds in April to join Swiss giant Credit Suisse as its new chairman, has won widespread praise for his stewardship of Lloyds from near collapse back to rude health.

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Last year, former Bank of England governor Lord Mervyn King, who headed the central bank at the time of the financial crisis, said Horta-Osorio had turned Lloyds “from a liability to the taxpayer into an asset for the country”.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, the former group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, addresses the Institute of Directors convention at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA
Antonio Horta-Osorio, the former group chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, addresses the Institute of Directors convention at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

When Horta-Osorio took over at Lloyds in early 2011 after previously heading up Santander’s UK arm, the bank was on its knees after its £20.3 billion taxpayer bail out at the height of the financial crisis following an ill-fated rescue of rival HBOS.

He was also left to deal with the payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling scandal, which ended up costing Lloyds a mammoth £22bn.

But in his decade at the helm, he helped the UK government unwind the stake it took in Lloyds during the financial crisis, while also returning the group to healthy profit growth.

The Lisbon-born 57-year old, who has British citizenship, bowed out from Lloyds in April with a £2.1bn first-quarter profits haul.

Once Britain’s best-paid banking boss, Horta-Osorio has also been knighted for his work shining a light on mental health issues.

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