Lloyds boss cashes out £3.5m in shares days after bank’s profits fall

The boss of banking giant Lloyds has cashed out £3.5 million worth of shares, just days after the bank posted sliding half-year profits as its bill for the payment protection insurance scandal soared past £20 billion.

Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, sold 6.7 million shares in the company at 52p each, according to filings on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

Despite the significant share sale, he still holds the required holdings in the company, with his stake reducing to 21.2 million shares, currently worth around £11.2 million.

It is understood that cash from the share sale will be used by the banking chief to purchase a new home.

On Wednesday, Mr Horta-Osorio told reporters that the group is in a strong position despite pre-tax profits falling to a worse-than-expected £2.9 billion for the six months to June 30.

The company was weighed down by a £550 million hit from the PPI mis-selling saga in the second quarter of 2019.

Mr Horta-Osorio’s share sale also comes months after he faced pressure from shareholder groups over his bumper £6.27 million pay package for last year.

Executives at the bank backed the chief, with the chairman of the firm’s remuneration committee telling MPs he is a “winner” with “charisma” who deserved the controversial pay deal and pension perks.

Alongside the sizeable pay packet, the bank’s chief received a pension contribution of 33%, compared with the average pension contribution of 13%.

The share-sale document issued on Friday also revealed that new finance director William Chalmers received 818,172 shares after joining the company and sold 384,733 of them, worth roughly £200,000, to meet tax obligations.

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