‘Fully fit’ Lloyds chief set for return

The boss of Lloyds Banking Group is to return to work in the new year after making a full recovery from illness, the company said yesterday.

Lloyds shares slumped in November after it emerged that its high-flying chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio was suffering from exhaustion.

He was given a period of leave but the bank said independent medical advice has concluded that Mr Horta-Osorio has made a full recovery, meaning the Portuguese banker will be able to return to his post on 9 January.

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The group also announced yesterday that the Co-operative was its preferred choice to buy the 632 branches it is selling under European competition rules.