A group of MPs have called for the resignation of Lloyds Banking Group’s (LON:LLOY) chief executive António Horta-Osório, the Financial Times has reported. The move is related to the bank’s handling of the fraud of its HBOS Reading unit.
Lloyds’ share price has climbed higher in London in today’s session, having gained 0.62 percent to 52.28p as of 14:35 GMT, largely in line with gains in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.70 percent higher at 6,748.35 points. The group’s shares given up about 22 percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 10.4-percent dip in the Footsie.
MPs call for resignation of Lloyds CEO
The FT reported yesterday that Kevin Hollinrake, the Conservative chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking, had accused Lloyds of mistreating a whistleblower who attempted to draw attention to the crimes, and for creating a biased compensation scheme he described as “an affront to any notion of natural justice”. The comments relate to a fraud which saw corrupt employees at the HBOS Reading division impose a firm of turnaround consultants on their small business customers in exchange for bribes.
Hollinrake said in a parliamentary debate that Lloyds boss’ Horta-Osório’s position had become untenable, and called on the Financial Conduct Authority to investigate whether he had breached his responsibilities under its Senior Managers’ Regime.
Although the fraud took place before Horta-Osório joined Lloyds, he was chief executive by the time former employee Sally Masterton wrote a report detailing the crimes in 2013. The FTSE 100 group reached a settlement with Masterton last month.
Analysts on bailed-out lender
Credit Suisse reiterated its ‘outperform’ rating on Lloyds last week, without specifying a price target on the shares. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 77.29p.