Sainsbury’s yesterday defended its new chairman after he received criticsm from an investor concerned with his involvement in a botched merger when he worked for Lloyds bank.
The supermarket yesterday said insurer RSA’s chairman Martin Scicluna would become non-executive chair in March 2019.
Scicluna worked for Lloyds Banking Group when it bought struggling HBOS in 2008.
The deal ended up hitting Lloyds’ market value, before the bank received a government bail-out in 2009.
“My concern at the moment is a lack of diligence in 2008 by a number of individuals. I don’t want to have a similar thing occurring in 2019 when we merge with Asda,” said Ralph Eschwege.
But Susan Rice, Sainsbury’s senior independent director defended the new chairman.
“That was a very complicated period and the coming together of Lloyds and HBOS couldn’t be more different than the transaction that we’re looking at just now.”