Lloyds Chairman to step down

Part-nationalised lender Lloyds has revealed that Chairman Sir Winfried Bischoff will retire within a year's time, a move thought to be in anticipation of the bank's potential privatisation.

Part-nationalised lender Lloyds has revealed that Chairman Sir Winfried Bischoff will retire within a year's time, a move thought to be in anticipation of the bank's potential privatisation.

Bischoff, who has been Chairman since September 2009 and instrumental in the company's radical restructuring and return to profitability, is to step down from the board "no later than the shareholders meeting in May 2014", the company said.

"Lloyds Banking Group has, over the past four years, made significant progress in its goal to become a strong, efficient, UK-focused retail and commercial bank," he said.

"Whilst clearly some challenges remain, the performance of the group is well on track. Indeed, in many areas, it is ahead of plan. This gives me every confidence in the future success of the group and it is therefore a good time to start the search for my successor."

The move is said to allow Lloyds, which is 39% owned by the taxpayer, to bring in a new Chairman by the year-end to allow the government to start winding up its position in the bank.

The Treasury is expected to begin selling off its stakes in Lloyds and fellow domestic bank RBS before the 2015 general election.

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