Lloyds seeks chairman to steer bank through privatisation

THE HUNT for Lloyds’ chairman is expected to see the great and the good of the banking world paraded as possible candidates, after the lender confirmed yesterday that Sir Win Bischoff will step down before May 2014.

With only those of major stature with unimpeachable records likely to be able to take to lead role at the state-backed bank. the City is already rife with rumours around who might end up in the hot seat.

The Bank of England’s deputy governor Paul Tucker, his predecessor Rachel Lomax, JP Morgan veteran and banking reformer Bill Winters and current Lloyds non-executive director Anita Frew are all thought to have a chance at landing the role.

It is thought the bank wants a new chairman picked by the end of this year, allowing the replacement to be well embedded by the time of the annual general meeting in a year’s time.

Sir Win joined the bank in 2009 and has overseen its transformation from a broken lender into a refreshed and renewed bank that is once more in position to make profits. Much of the reshaping has already taken place, leaving it with a renewed focus on UK retail.

As a result the next chairman will have little to do by way of restructuring, instead guiding the privatisation.

The government hopes the sale could get underway by the end of 2014 , if all goes to plan.

“Looking at the criteria Lloyds needs someone who is experienced, has a good relationship with regulators, is not tarnished by wrongdoings in the past – though it is going to be hard to find someone who fits that if they have any banking experience,” said analyst Gary Greenwood from Shore Capital.

“Most of the restructuring is out of the way. The new chairman will have to lead Lloyds back to more profitability, paying dividends and looking like a normal bank, before it can be returned to the private sector.”

RUNNERS AND RIDERS FOR THE LLOYDS CHAIRMANSHIP

PAUL TUCKER
DEPUTY GOVERNOR BANK OF ENGLAND

Paul Tucker’s future at the Bank was left uncertain when he missed out on the governor’s job to Mark Carney, so it’s a reasonable bet that the Lloyds selection panel will find its way to the Threadneedle Street deputy’s door. Tucker has spent most of his career at the Bank – will his lack of outside experience hinder his chances?

ANITA FREW
NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LLOYDS BANKING GROUP

Anita Frew has been on the Lloyds board since 2011, part of a portfolio career that has spanned more than a decade and taken in Aberdeen Asset Management, IMI and Northumbrian Water. She sits on the bank’s audit and risk committees and heads its responsible business steering group, putting her at the heart of the recovery.

RACHEL LOMAX
NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR HSBC

Rachel Lomax, a non-exec at HSBC since 2008, is a former Bank of England official. She has also had a distinguished career as a civil servant, and worked at the World Bank. She is by no means a meek supporter of government policy however: last week she hit out at the chancellor’s Help to Buy scheme as a “short-term political fix”.

BILL WINTERS
COMMISSIONER INDEPENDENT COMMISSION ON BANKING

Bill Winters examined the folly of the old banking ways in his role on the Vickers Commission in 2011 – which spared Lloyds from its most severe reforms. Winters, who left the co-chief exec job at JP Morgan in 2009, runs asset manager Renshaw Bay and has been previously linked to several top Wall Street jobs.