Lloyds chief still in firing line over pension perks

The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group is to come under renewed fire from staff over the size of his pension allowance, reigniting a row over excessive payouts for company bosses.

Antonio Horta-Osorio was forced to give up his lucrative final salary pension on Tuesday evening, following complaints from the Lloyds staff group Affinity, which represents 20,000 employees.

But the Press Association understands that Affinity plans to write to shareholder trade body the Investment Association again this week, pointing out the difference between the bank chief’s pension allowance and that of everyday staff.

IoD Convention
IoD Convention

Under his generous remuneration package, Mr Horta-Osorio receives payments in lieu of pension contributions of 33% of salary, amounting to £419,000 this year.

While this is a reduction from 46% of salary, or £573,000, Affinity will point out that the vast majority of ordinary staff at the bank are only entitled to a pension contribution of 13%.

The latest move will pile pressure on the lender ahead of its annual meeting in May.

The Investment Association, whose members manage £7.7 trillion of assets, has launched an initiative focusing on pension perks for bosses at Britain’s biggest firms as AGM season approaches.

It is asking companies to reduce the gap between the pensions of top executives and staff and will issue a “red-top” warning – the highest and most serious level – on firms which pay newly-appointed directors at rates above the majority of the workforce.

Investors are likely to follow its lead when voting on remuneration deals for top bosses, raising the prospect of several rebellions this year.

Mr Horta-Osorio banked total pay of £6.27 million for 2018.

The chief executive himself oversaw the end of final salary schemes at Lloyds, leaving him the only employee at the bank entitled to the perk until it was axed this week.