Lloyds signs finance chief but job will be left vacant for two months

Marion Dakers
LLOYDS Banking Group has clinched new chief financial officer George Culmer, after months of wrangling over his start date and pay package.

But the part-nationalised bank will be left without a finance chief for the next two months because Culmer, who stepped down from insurer RSA in November, will not join until the Lloyds shareholder meeting in May.

Chief executive António Horta-Osório’s finance team will manage his responsibilities between now and Culmer’s arrival.

Interim finance head Tim Tookey, who stood in for Horta-Osório during his leave of absence last year, jumped ship to Friends Life last week.

Culmer, 49, has been promised a “golden hello” of Lloyds shares worth £1.9m to help make up for the loss of his deferred bonus from RSA.

The payment is similar to the controversial £4.6m share award given to Horta-Osório when he joined, which previous employer Santander considered trying to claw back amid the insurance mis-selling scandal.

Culmer will also get an allowance to fund personal pension arrangements worth 25 per cent of his salary, taking his potential annual pay, bonus and benefits to £4m.

Culmer, in a break from the steady stream of Santander alumni taking jobs at Lloyds, has a background in insurance. He worked for Prudential and Zurich before starting at RSA in 2004.

His arrival was first trailed in November, before Horta-Osório took two months off for stress.

Lloyds last week reported an annual loss of £3.54bn, hit by a £3.2bn charge for mis-selling insurance.