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Lloyds Bank Chief Executive defends £1.7m bonus


Lloyds Bank chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has defended his £1.7 million bonus, claiming that it is aligned with taxpayers’ interests.

The bank has increased its overall staff bonuses for 2013 to £395 million, up from £365 million the previous year. Mr Horta-Osario claimed the reason behind this, was due to increased performance, which seen the bank report it’s first pre-tax profit since the £20.5 billion government bail out, which was funded with tax-payers money.

The bank posted a pre-tax profit of £415 million, in comparison to the £606 million loss made in 2012.

Horta-Osario was quoted as saying: "I strongly believe you should link compensation with performance, and having increased our underlying profits by 140%, we thought it was appropriate to increase the bonus pool of the bank by 8%.”

He also pointed to the fact that 78% of the bonus scheme is in the form of shares, whilst 100% of Horta-Ontario’s bonus being paid in shares which cannot be cashed-in until 2019.

"I have also agreed to have additional conditions to my bonus... which is fully paid in shares, which aligns my interests with the interests of the taxpayer, so if the strategy we are pursuing proves itself wrong, that money can be clawed back."

However, the ‘Unite Union’ national officer Rob Macgregor disapproved of the bonus, especially after the bank gave its call centre workers a 2% pay rise and cut more than 35,000 jobs since the bail out.

He said: "The chief executive's £1.7m bonus, on top of shares worth millions awarded at the end of October, is a kick in the teeth to the taxpayer, and to hard-working staff who don't know if they will be next in line for the chop."

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