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Shares windfall for Lloyds boss as staff bonus pot rises

LLOYDS Banking Group is expected to announce a shares windfall worth more than £1.5 million for boss Antonio Horta-Osorio.

The taxpayer-backed bank is also expected to say its staff bonus pot has risen close to £400m for 2013, up from £365m for 2012, alongside full-year results showing a return to bottom line profits.

Under a deal agreed with UK Financial Investments - the Government body charged with managing taxpayer stakes in banks - it is thought that Mr Horta-Osorio will only receive his bonus if the share price remains above 73.6p for six months or half of the remaining 33% taxpayer stake in the bank is sold off.

He has been under pressure to follow the lead of his counterparts at Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland and waive his annual bonus entitlement after the soaring PPI bill emerged and in light of the lender's record £28m fine in December over incentive schemes rewarding staff with "champagne bonuses" that drove mis-selling.

Barclays has already defied calls for restraint on pay after hiking its staff bonus pool by 10% to £2.4 billion, despite a 32% drop in underlying annual profits to £5.2bn.

Lloyds recently said it expected to make a small statutory profit for last year and to better City expectations with an underlying profit of £6.2bn for 2013.

This compares with bottom line losses of £570m in 2012 and £2.6m profits on an underlying basis.

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