David Prosser: A new man in charge at Lloyds Banking Group?


Outlook Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, has been quietly sounding out Lord Davies, the former trade minister, about a rather delicate matter. Would Lord Davies, who prior to his move into public office in the latter stages of the last government enjoyed a successful stint running Standard Chartered Bank, like to be considered as a candidate for the chief executive's job at Lloyds, Sir Win wanted to know.

Lord Davies would certainly be an obvious contender for the position. There are not too many people around with experience of running a major bank who can also say their reputations have not been sullied by the financial crisis. He is one such individual. And having spent the past couple of years in Whitehall, Lord Davies is well-placed to navigate the tricky matter of having the Government as your largest shareholder (the taxpayer, via UK Financial Investments, owns 41 per cent of Lloyds).

Just one problem. Lloyds insists there is no vacancy at the top. Eric Daniels, the bank's current chief executive, has no plans to go anywhere for a while yet. And though there was some pressure on him to stand down when the shocking state of HBOS's finances was revealed in the aftermath of Lloyds' purchase of it, that campaign has dissipated recently. Not least because the bank, as its trading statement revealed earlier this month, appears to be recovering more quickly than many had expected, and is even likely to make a profit this year.

What, then, should we make of the conversation between Sir Win and Lord Davies (who is, by the way, understood to have said "thanks, but no thanks")? Well, in one sense, it would be strange if the two men had not talked. They are old friends and Lord Davies is presumably now in the market for some sort of gainful employment, having had his last contract terminated by an ungrateful electorate.

Also, Mr Daniels will not stay on at Lloyds forever. He will no doubt be keen to stick around to get some of the credit when the HBOS deal starts delivering more than a string of bad debts – as it surely one day will, given the combined operation's dominance in large parts of the retail banking sector – but it's difficult to imagine him still running the show in, say, three years' time. Lloyds is sensible to think about succession planning.

That said, the approach to Lord Davies will heighten speculation that Mr Daniels is to go sooner than people expect. And remember that the political masters of UKFI have just changed colour. The Liberal Democrats' Vince Cable, in particular, has been among Lloyds' harshest critics. Could it be that the bank's succession planning has taken on new urgency since the formation of our coalition Government a week ago?

Life and Style
life
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
News
Joan Rivers has reportedly been hospitalised after she stopped breathing during surgery
people81-year-old 'stopped breathing' during vocal chord surgery
Life and Style
Chen Mao recovers in BK Hospital, Seoul
health
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
One in six drivers cannot identify a single one of the main components found under the bonnet of an average car
motoringOne in six drivers can't carry out basic under-bonnet checks
News
news
Environment
Fungi pose the biggest threat globally and in the UK, where they threaten the country’s wheat and potato harvests
environmentCrop pests are 'grave threat to global food security'
News
i100
Voices
Pupils educated at schools like Eton (pictured) are far more likely to succeed in politics and the judiciary, the report found
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash
tvSimon Cowell blasts BBC for breaking 'gentlemen's agreement' in scheduling war
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
Shady character: Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein in Million Dollar Arm
filmReview: Jon Hamm finally finds the right role on the big screen in Million Dollar Arm
News
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
people
News
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reportedly married in secret on Saturday
peopleSpokesperson for couple confirms they tied the knot on Saturday after almost a decade together
Sport
footballAnd Liverpool are happy despite drawing European champions
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Head of Marketing (Online & Offline, Media, Digital, Strategy)

£85000 - £100000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing - Slough, Berkshi...

Database Developer (SSIS, TSQL, Microsoft SQL) London Finance

£35000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global global asset management ...

Web Developer/UI Developer (HTML5, CSS3,Jquery) London

£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A Global Financial Service Organi...

JavaScript Developer (C++ / C# / HTML, Java Angular.js) London

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading business intellig...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone