Former Lloyds boss knighted after spilling bank fortunes

The former Lloyds Banking Group boss who brought the credit giant back to private ownership after his financial crisis bailout has been given a knight on the Queen’s Birthday Honors List.

Antonio Horta-Osorio is recognized for his services to the financial sector, as well as his volunteer work for mental health and culture.

The Portuguese banker, who left Lloyds in April to join Swiss giant Credit Suisse as new chairman, has received widespread praise for his handling of Lloyds, from near collapse to poor health.

Annual dinner for bankers and traders
Former Bank of England Governor Lord Mervyn King praised Mr Horta-Osorio for relaunching Lloyds (Lewis Whyld / PA)

When Mr Horta-Osorio took over at Lloyds in early 2011 after leading the UK branch of Santander, the bank was on its knees after its £ 20.3 billion taxpayer bailout at the height of the crisis financial following the unsuccessful rescue of its rival HBOS. .

He also had to deal with the payment protection insurance (PPI) sell-off scandal, which ended up costing Lloyds £ 22 billion.

But during his decade at the helm, he helped the government unwind its stake in Lloyds during the financial crisis, while returning the group to healthy earnings growth.

The 57-year-old Lisbon-born man, who has British nationality, withdrew from Lloyds in April with a profit of £ 2.1 billion in the first quarter.

It came after a 72% drop in profits in 2020 after investing huge sums for loans that could turn sour during the pandemic, but first quarter figures showed the bank is already recovering from the crisis.

Once Britain’s highest paid banking boss, Mr Horta-Osorio has also been knighted for his work highlighting mental health issues.

He became a mental health advocate in the workplace after suffering stress exhaustion himself just six months after holding the most senior position at Lloyds, which saw him sent to the Priory to recuperate and take several months off.

He said on leaving Lloyds last month that “these were very difficult times” but returned with renewed vigor to turn the tide of the bank and said one of the biggest highlights of his tenure was when the Treasury sold its last stake in the bank in 2017.

Under his leadership, Lloyds now supports the charity Mental Health UK, while ensuring that help is available for staff suffering from stress and anxiety.

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