Friday 2 August 2019 4:10 pm

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio sells £3.5m of shares in the bank

The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group Antonio Horta-Osorio today sold £3.5m of shares in the bank, according to stock market filings.

Horta-Osorio sold 6.75m shares at an aggregate price of 52p, the filing shows.

The value of the shares sold exceeded £3.5m.

Lloyds’ share price fell 2.8 per cent today to 51.3p.

Following the sale Horta-Osorio continues to hold 21.2m shares in the bank. 

Horta-Osorio, who is one of the UK’s best-paid chief executives, took home £6.3m last year. 

Read more: Lloyds Bank boss defends pay and pension perks as MPs accuse him of greed

His bumper pay included a pension contribution of 46 per cent of his base salary – compared to a maximum 13 per cent for other employees.

Earlier this year he voluntarily reduced his pension perk to 33 per cent.

In June the Work and Pensions Committee questioned Horta-Osorio over his pension contribution and total fixed compensation of £2.8m.

Committee chair Frank Field asked: “How do you justify your greed?”

Horta-Osorio responded: “It is very difficult to accept the word ‘greed’ when my total fixed compensation is lower than the group chief executive of HSBC.

He added: “My total fixed compensation at £2.8m is absolutely in line with other major bank’s chief executives, but that doesn’t mean we are not mindful of decreasing the pay gap.”

Read more: Lloyds Banking Group misses profit targets as £650m PPI provisions weigh heavy

After share awards and other payments are factored in, Horta-Osorio’s take home salary of £6.3m was higher than HSBC boss John Flint’s £4.6m.

On Wednesday, Lloyds posted pre-tax profit of £2.9bn for the first-half, falling short of the analyst consensus of £3.45bn.

The bank’s earnings were hit by a £550m provision for payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling compensation in the second quarter.

The bank also agreed to pay Standard Life Aberdeen £140m to settle a dispute over Lloyds’ decision to withdraw £109bn from the fund manager.

Speaking on Wednesday, Horta-Osorio said: “In the first six months we have delivered a robust underlying profit of £4.2bn, in line with prior year, with a statutory profit after tax of £2.2bn, despite an additional PPI charge of £650 million.”