The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
Banking

International rescue: How Horta-Osório relaunched Lloyds

When António Horta-Osório took over Lloyds Banking Group in 2011, a once great institution was on its knees. The scale of the challenge he faced surprised even the new chief executive. Two-and-a-half years later, Lloyds is in the black, posting £2.1 billion in first-half profit, paving the way for the UK government to divest its 39% stake and begin discussions with regulators over resuming dividends. Euromoney tells the inside story of one of the great post-financial crisis turnarounds.

"When I got here, the bank was a time bomb," says António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group. "We had £700 billion of banking assets and £300 billion of wholesale funding, half of which was short-term with an average tenor of two months." He pauses and reflects. "The bank was in danger of going bankrupt."

Aside from all the challenges of cleaning out a toxic loan book, Lloyds was faced with the height of the eurozone crisis, which meant there was a real risk of the short-term money markets closing.

That was in January 2011, when Horta-Osório joined Lloyds as its chief executive. Lloyds was, by anyone’s standards, a mess. Its ill-conceived takeover of HBOS during the financial crisis, led by former chairman Victor Blank and CEO Eric Daniels, had turned what was once the most admired bank in the UK into a pariah that had been forced to take a bailout from the UK government, which now owned almost half of the bank. But even in those bleak days, just how bad a situation the bank was in was not widely known.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree