Lloyds bank boss temporarily steps down due to illness

2nd November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain's state-rescued Lloyds Banking Group said on Wednesday its chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio had temporarily stepped down due to illness and was being replaced by its chief financial officer.

Horta-Osorio, 47, who became chief executive in March, is understood to be suffering from fatigue, according to sources.

"The board of Lloyds Banking Group announces that following medical advice Antonio Horta-Osorio is taking a temporary leave of absence from his duties as group chief executive of the bank due to illness," LBG said in a statement.

"Antonio is expected to return to his position before the end of the year," it added.

LBG's chief financial officer Tim Tookey was appointed interim chief executive, the bank said in a further statement.

Lloyds Banking Group, which is 40.2 percent owned by the British government after a huge bailout at the height of the global financial crisis, said it would publish its third-quarter results on Tuesday, as planned.

Horta-Osorio had in June unveiled annual cost savings of £1.5 billion (1.74 billion euros, $2.4 billion) by scrapping 15,000 jobs, or 14 percent of its staff.

LBG has slashed more than 40,000 posts since 2009 as it looks to nurse its way back to health after its part-nationalisation.

The lender, which was sunk by the ill-fated 2008 takeover of rival bank HBOS, is also seeking to cut its international presence to just 15 countries by 2014.

Horta-Osorio was formerly head of Santander UK, the British wing of the Spanish bank. The Portuguese national's predecessor Eric Daniels left amid shareholder anger after he oversaw the government-brokered takeover of HBOS.

© 2011 AFP

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