THE retirement of Lloyds Banking Group legal chief Harry Baines will sever the last link between the bank's senior management team and Edinburgh-based Halifax Bank of Scotland, which Lloyds acquired in a rescue takeover in 2009.

Mr Baines has stepped down as company secretary and general counsel but will continue to work for the group part-time for the next few months "providing support on legacy issues".

Documents filed with Companies House show he has been replaced as company secretary of Lloyds Banking Group and a number of subsidiaries, including Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland, by Claire Davies, the head of the company secretariat at Lloyds.

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Ms Davies was company secretary at Legal & General before joining Lloyds in 2009.

Mr Baines was general counsel and company secretary of HBOS at the time of its rescue takeover by Lloyds TSB.

He joined Halifax in 1999 and led the legal team after Halifax's merger with Bank of Scotland in 2001.

He had been head of legal for vehicle parts market Turner & Newell.

After the Lloyds-HBOS merger completed in 2009 he retained the same role, securing one of only two top jobs in the combined bank that went to HBOS executives.

Jo Dawson, chief executive of HBOS's insurance and investment division and head of its branch network, initially became wealth and international director of the enlarged group, but left in early 2010.

She was drawn into the controversy over HBOS's lending practices because she replaced the bank's risk manager Paul Moore, who later made allegations about the climate of risk-taking in the run-up to the credit crunch.