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Lloyds’ chief on sick leave

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive, António Horta-Osório, is to take leave of absence on health grounds for six to eight weeks, the BBC has reported.

Mr António Horta-Osório joined the part-nationalised lender in February, from Santander, and swiftly implemented the group’s Project Verde divestment programme.

There followed a boardroom clear out that included the resignations of Archie Kane, the group’s then executive director for insurance and Scotland, and director for retail, Helen Weir.

The departures were followed by Lord Leitch announcing that he will retire from the board and as chairman of Scottish Widows at the end of this year and a surprise announcement in September by group finance director, Tim Tookey, who is leaving to pursue an opportunity outside the banking sector (reportedly with Friends Life).

Lloyds posted a pre-tax loss of £3.25 billion for the six months to the end of June 2011, compared with a profit of almost £1.3 billion a year earlier.

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