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Notizie:lloyds Chairman, Ceo Under Pressure To Quit Over Bailout (LLOY)

- 08/3/2009 20:58

By Vladimir Guevarra

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) Chairman Victor Blank, Chief Executive Eric Daniels and the rest of the Lloyds board of directors are under pressure to quit following shareholder protests over the bank's latest bailout that will mean the U.K. government takes a majority stake.

"A lot of our members are absolutely unhappy over what happened. The deal stinks. It massively dilutes the holding of Lloyds shareholders," U.K. Shareholders' Association director Roger Lawson told Dow Jones Newswires Sunday.

On Saturday, Lloyds and the U.K. government struck a deal under which the government will insure GBP250 billion of Lloyds assets and increase its stake in the bank to as much as 77%, up from the current 43%.

The scheme underlined just how detrimental the acquisition of troubled mortgage lender HBOS in January was to the risk profile of the relatively conservative Lloyds. The bank said that 83% of the assets included in the insurance scheme stem from HBOS' books. The deal to acquire HBOS, which was reportedly close to collapse, had been actively encouraged by the U.K. government.

Lawson said investors are calling for members of the Lloyds board to quit and be made accountable for the problems being faced by the bank following its acquisition of HBOS.

"Mr Daniels has made it plain that the company did not need to raise funds from the government if it hadn't done the merger with HBOS," Lawson said.

"Effectively, the company directors have, by the decision made, ensured they've given away most of the company to the government."

"It's been a silly mistake made by the directors and they should be held to account for it," he said.

"Their positions are untenable. The perception is that Daniels, though clearly culpable, was caught in the middle. This was very much Blank's deal and I think he should go," an unnamed investor was cited as saying in The Independent.

The Independent report cited unnamed sources as saying that Blank and Daniels wouldn't quit.

"Are the shareholders going to vote on this deal (with the government)? There doesn't even seem to be any consultation, even with institutional investors," Lawson said.

Blank and Daniels are expected to hold talks with institutional investors in the coming weeks, the Telegraph reported.

In reaction, Lloyds spokesman Shane O'Riordain said: "the board is completely behind the management, which is leading the company through difficult economic times."

"We're very focused on the integration of HBOS and Lloyds and firmly believe that the acquisition will in the medium term give benefits to shareholders," O'Riordain said.

"The outlook is going to be difficult in the short term, but the medium term prize will be significant," he said.

CEO Daniels said on Saturday that taking part in the government's asset protection scheme "substantially reduces the risk profile of the group's balance sheet."

"Our significantly enhanced capital position will ensure that the group can weather the severest of economic downturns and emerge strongly when the economy recovers. We believe that this is an appropriate deal for our shareholders," he said.

Separately, the Lloyds TSB Group Union said Saturday it "condemned the fact that tens of thousands of innocent staff will lose bonus payments despite having done nothing wrong at all."

"This is because U.K. Financial Investments Ltd, the body set up by the government to manage its shareholdings in banks, has insisted that this should be a condition of allowing Lloyds to participate in its asset protection scheme," the union said.

Steve Tatlow, the union's assistant general secretary, said: "Why should Lloyds TSB staff who have met their performance targets and worked for a still successful and profitable bank - until it was persuaded by the Government to takeover HBOS - be punished through losing their bonuses? This is an absolute disgrace."

Company Web site:

-By Vladimir Guevarra, Dow Jones Newswires, Tel. +44 (0) 2078429486,

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1 di 1 - 08/3/2009 20:58
very well
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