Lloyds Chairman decides to leave

Had I been a Lloyds shareholder I would have voted against the merger with HBOS. At the time I called on the Competition authorities to block the merger, and advised shareholders to vote against it. We have now seen the huge losses of HBOS, and are beginning to see the damage it has done to Lloyds.

Sir Victor’s decision to step down in due course is a good one. UKFI, the holder of the taxpayers’ shares, now does not have to decide whether to support him. Lloyds/HBOS needs leadership that can root out bad business, cut costs, and stabilise the loan books. It needs to sell assets, raise some more cash, and concentrate on deposit taking and lending on a prudent basis. The architect of the last mega merger of the old era is not the right man to carry out that crucial work. Taxpayers need the reassurance that the bank is now going to be run on a more restrained basis.

Sir Victor was encouraged to do what he did by the government. I do not expect to see a Treasury Minister also announce their departure, or any apologies from them over their misguided agreement to this deal.

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4 Comments

  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    If I were a banker, i should be learning from this what we, the electorate, have only recently discovered: never, under any circumstances, trust either the current Prime Minister or his government.

  2. alan jutson
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Simple.
    Go for failing to carry out due dilligence, the very basic requirement for any Company purchase.
    Doubtless Gordon Brown, who he must have believed at the time, encouraged this unmitigated disaster for the Bank.

    Isn’t it strange that most of these failed Bankers and Financial experts seem to have been Knighted.

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    No doubt he will be well rewarded for his abysmal failure. I remember that Brown was the main government player in pushing through this commercial banking disaster. We can’t wait a year to see the back of that disastrous incompetent.

  4. Citizen Responsible
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    I welcome the news that Victor Blank recognises that his position as chairman at Lloyds has become untenable. However I nearly choked over my cornflakes this morning, when I read in the Mail the statement put out by UKFI, describing Sir Victor as having guided Lloyds and its board skilfully (don’t laugh) through an exceptionally challenging period.

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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