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Chairman of Lloyds may depart

SIR Victor Blank, the chairman of Lloyds Banking Group PLC, will step down amid criticism over the purchase of struggling bank HBOS, a British newspaper reported yesterday.

A Lloyds spokeswoman would not comment on any of the reports.

The Sunday Telegraph said Blank had been under pressure from shareholders since agreeing to Lloyd's ill-fated deal to buy HBOS, which earlier this year reported a full-year loss of 7.5 billion pounds (US$11.4 billion).

The newspaper said the search for a replacement for Blank would begin immediately, though he would remain in his post for about a year.

The government had encouraged Lloyds to acquire HBOS to save it from collapse. The expanded Lloyds Group, in turn, had to be bailed out by the government.


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