Lloyds' new chief executive begins changes

Lloyds branch
Image caption Lloyds is 41%-owned by the UK government

The new chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, Antonio Horta-Osorio, has begun a management shake-up at the bank after taking over on 1 March.

Lloyds has announced the departure of two board members and a restructuring of the retail banking division.

Archie Kane, executive director for insurance and Scotland, is retiring, and retail director Helen Weir is leaving the part-nationalised bank.

Mr Horta-Osorio said the changes were part of Lloyds new long-term plans.

Lloyds' insurance division, which includes life and pensions group Scottish Widows, will in future report directly to Mr Horta-Osorio.

"These changes to the group's management team will enable us to focus on meeting our 2011 targets, whilst putting in place some of the foundations which will enable us to deliver on our longer-term plans following the conclusion of the strategic review which is currently underway," he said.

Lloyds is 41%-owned by the UK government after being bailed out following the takeover of troubled rival HBOS in 2008.

Ian Gordon, an analyst at BNP Exane Paribas, said Mr Horta-Osorio had a reputation for cost reduction, "having already transformed Abbey National into the UK's most efficient bank".

In a research note, Mr Gordon said: "Whereas much speculation ahead of his arrival has focussed on his deal-making credentials, we believe that it is his insatiable appetite for detail that will bring the greatest internal challenge and rigor to Lloyds existing businesses."

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