THE retiring chairman of Lloyds has been named as the next chairman of the Financial Reporting Council, days after the bank's handling of the planned sale of more than 600 branches to the Co-op was called into question.

Sir Win Bischoff, 72, will be paid £120,000 a year for two days work a week at the FRC from May. The council recently launched a probe into the Co-operative Bank's accounts.

Sir Win's appointment, for a three-year term, was announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable. A spokesman for the department denied there was a conflict of interest.

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Lord Levene suggested to the Treasury Select Committee this week the Lloyds branch sale to Co-op was "swayed by political considerations". The deal collapsed after a £1.5 billion black hole was found in the mutual's finances.