Lloyds Banking Group's boss has faced some tricky questions from his own bank over reports he had a tryst while away on business.
Antonio Horta-Osorio, who has been at the helm of the taxpayer-backed bank since 2011, is said to have met with alleged lover Dr Wendy Piatt, a former Tony Blair aide, while travelling in June to a banking conference in Singapore.
The Sun published pictures of Dr Piatt and the married Horta-Osorio on a boat trip, while reporting the pair spent several evenings together. The newspaper also claimed to have obtained a bill from the five-star hotel he stayed at, which showed he had racked up more than £3,000 worth of mini-bar and room service charges along with £550 on trips to the hotel's spa.
Now, the Telegraph has reported Horta-Osorio has been confronted by the group chairman Lord Blackwell.
A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said:
We do not comment on personal matters. On the issue of expenses, our policy is very clear: the group will meet any legitimate business expenses incurred by our staff. Personal expenses will be met by the individual. In practice the individual executive will pay all expenses incurred – personal and business – and then reclaim the business expenses from the bank. In this case there is no breach of our policy and the personal expenses are paid for by Antonio.
The spokesperson added that Horta-Osorio "remains committed to the group’s strategy and to the bank".
Last month, the bank announced it was slashing a further 3,000 jobs and 200 branches, on top of 9,000 job cuts and 200 branch closures which had already been announced, at the same time as revealing its statutory profits had more than doubled.
A spokesperson for the Russell Group, where Dr Piatt is director general and chief executive, confirmed she was in Singapore between 6 and 9 June as part of her role for the Group but added it would be "wholly inappropriate" for them to comment on matters relating to her private life.
City A.M. has approached Lord Blackwell for comment.