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Business

Lloyds Banking Group chairman to step down by June 2010

Latest update : 2009-05-17

The chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, Victor Blank (pictured) will step down from his post by June 2010, the partially nationalised British bank announced on Sunday. Blank had been criticised for his role in the takeover of HBOS.

AFP - Lloyds Banking Group chairman Victor Blank will step down from his post by June 2010, the British government-controlled banking giant said on Sunday.

Blank has been sharply criticised for his role in Lloyds TSB's takeover of rival lender HBOS, which faced collapse last year because it was struggling to raise funds due to the credit crunch.

"Sir Victor Blank, Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, has today notified the board that he is planning to retire from the Chairmanship by the AGM (Annual General Meeting) in 2010," LBG said in a statement.

Blank was made chairman of Lloyds TSB in May 2006. The bank said that because of the announcement, it had appointed Lord Alexander Leitch as its deputy chairman.

"I believe it is the right time for the group to appoint a new chairman," said the 66-year-old executive.

"I will continue working until my successor is appointed to ensure the successful integration of the two banks. This remains -- in the medium term -- a unique value-enhancing opportunity."

Leitch described Blank as a "first-class chairman" and said LBG's board was very sad that he was to step down.

Eric Daniels, the bank's chief executive, said Blank had "played a very important role ... during a period of significant change for our company".

In February, LBG said that while Lloyds TSB made an 819-million-pound (920-million-euro, 1.2-billion-dollar) profit in 2008, HBOS made a record pre-tax loss of 10.8 billion pounds and wrote off 9.9 billion pounds of bad consumer loans.

A month later, the British government said it was taking a majority stake in the banking group and would guarantee its toxic assets, increasing its ownership from 43 percent to 65 percent.

The government now has a controlling interest in several British banks -- Northern Rock has been nationalised, Bradford and Bingley was bailed out, and Royal Bank of Scotland is 70 percent state-owned.

That leaves Barclays and HSBC as the only major British high street lenders not controlled by the state.

LBG shares closed at 89.20 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday, compared to a 52-week high of 408.14 pence, according to figures provided by the bank.

Date created : 2009-05-17

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