Lloyds share price: Lender could face another pensions row

Written by: Tsveta van Son
March 11, 2020

Lloyds Banking Group (LON:LLOY) could face another pension controversy, with investors warning over a director’s remuneration deal, The Sunday Times reports. The news comes after the bailed-out lender’s chief executive António Horta-Osório recently gave up his pension deal following staff criticism.

Today’s trading has seen a rise in the Lloyds share price, with the stock trading 1.01 percent higher at 65.83p as of 09:59 BST, outperforming the benchmark FTSE 100 index which currently stands 0.32 percent higher at 7,460.71 points. The group’s shares have given up just under three percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a 3.7-percent gain in the Footsie.

Bank hit by another pensions row

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The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that Lloyds chief operating officer Juan Colombas receives a pension allowance worth 25 percent of his £779,000 salary. The newspaper notes that the deal could trigger an ‘amber top’ alert to shareholders from the Investment Association – powerful body representing fund managers – before the bailed-out lender’s annual general meeting (AGM) next month.

The news comes after the bank’s staff group Affinity, which represents 20,000 employees, recently criticised Lloyds’ pension policy amid pension arrangements for CEO Horta-Osório and new finance chief William Chalmers.

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Analysts on bailed-out lender

Jefferies and Societe Generale both reaffirmed the FTSE 100 company as a ‘buy’ last week, without specifying targets on Lloyds share price. Barclays meanwhile remains ‘overweight’ on the company, valuing the shares at 85p. According to MarketBeat, the bailed-out lender currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average price target of 7,460.71p.

Goldman Sachs lifted its rating and valuation on Lloyds last month, arguing at the time that tail risks for the bailed-out lender were receding.

The FTSE 100 group is scheduled to update investors on its first-quarter performance on May 2, to be followed by the lender’s AGM on May 16.