Lloyds' finance director could become temporary CEO if Antonia Horta-Osório quits

Lloyds Banking Group boss Antonio Horta-Osorio arrives back at their head office in the City of London, after taking a leave of absence from work.John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA ImagesLloyds Banking Group boss Antonio Horta-Osorio.

LONDON — Lloyds Banking Group has drawn up contingency plans in case CEO Antonia Horta-Osório quits or takes another job, according to The Times.

The Times reported on Monday that finance director George Culmer would likely become temporary CEO if Horta-Osório left, citing shareholders and advisors.

The plans are significant because there is speculation that Horta-Osório may seek a new job after the government completes its sale of Lloyds shares. That could happen as soon as this week, the Times says, with just a 0.89% stake remaining.

Horta-Osório became CEO of Lloyds in 2011. He has helped turn around the bank’s performance, taking it from a £3.5 billion loss in the year he joined to a pre-tax profit of £4.2 billion last year. The completion of the government’s sell-off of Lloyds shares, which began in earnest in 2013, would cap a successful tenure at the bank. The Treasury announced last month that it has now recouped through share sales the £20.3 billion it used to bail out Lloyds in the financial crisis.

Horta-Osório is tipped to be a possible replacement for HSBC’s outgoing CEO Stuart Gulliver who leaves next year, according to the report by The Times.

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