Lloyds/HalifaxSince 2008, the taxpayer has injected £19.9bn into Lloyds Banking Group and now owns 41% of the company. The bailout was required largely because of Lloyd’s disastrous acquisition of HBOS in 2008, a merger brokered by Lloyd’s former chief executive Eric Daniels and strongly backed by Gordon Brown. Lloyds have sacked 21,000 staff since the HBOS deal, but this did not stop Daniels receiving a £1.45m bonus in February 2011.
Despite the taxpayer’s generous handout, Lloyds staff still received a £80m bonus payout in 2009, authorised by the government. At the time, John McFall, chairman of the Treasury select committee, argued that the model of banks such as Lloyds ‘has got to change fundamentally: it ain’t business as usual.’
Lloyd’s new chief executive, António Horta-Osório, received a ‘signing-on fee’ of £6m according to the bank’s annual report. Horta-Osório’s salary was set at £1.06m a year, while his bonuses can reach a maximum of £2.4m. Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Oakeshott, stated that taxpayers would be ‘appalled’ at the idea of paying someone ‘£5000 a day, just for turning up at the office for the next three years’.
In April this year, Lloyds also came under fire from the Public Accounts Committee over its failure to meet its lending commitments to small businesses. In 2010 Lloyds was expected to lend £11bn, but once repayments were included the net result was just £5.7bn.