Lloyds’ remuneration chairman quits ahead of investor showdown

The head of the remuneration committee at Lloyds Banking Group will retire in May, sidestepping a potential fight with shareholders over the bonus awarded to the bailed-out bank’s chief executive.

Wolfgang Berndt, 67, will step down from the board at the bank’s annual shareholder meeting, Lloyd’s said. He is leaving just months after approving a full bonus worth more than £2m bonus for chief executive Eric Daniels, despite the bailed-out bank’s losses.

Daniels waived the payment, following in the footsteps of counterparts at Royal Bank of Scotland, which is 84 per cent state-owned, and Barclays.

However, the award of a full bonus by the remuneration committee irked some shareholders, with at least one major investor – UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages the government’s 41 per cent stake – thought to have been considering voting against his reappointment. No decision is understood to have been taken.

UKFI said yesterday that Berndt had been “a very committed member of the Lloyds Board through an exceptionally challenging period, and we wish him the best as he steps down.”