Lloyds TSB confirms Weir as new finance chief

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Lloyds TSB yesterday confirmed it had hired Helen Weir, formerly the finance director at Kingfisher, to hold the same position at the high street bank.

Ms Weir, who will take up the job on 26 April, joins at a difficult time for the bank. Under Eric Daniels, appointed last year as chief executive, Lloyds has sold large chunks of its foreign businesses in order to focus on its core retail business, but it has yet to convince the City that the strategy will reinvigorate its revenues.

Ms Weir, who is understood to be in line for a package of £450,000 in basic pay plus a bonus which could double that, will also have to tread carefully over Lloyds' capitalisation.

The bank parted company with its previous finance director, Philip Hampton, last month. This is believed to have followed a falling out between Mr Hampton - who wanted to cut Lloyds' dividend - and Mr Daniels, who did not.

Friends of Ms Weir pointed out that, contrary to reports earlier this week, she does have some experience in the finance sector, having being seconded to a bank while working at the consultant McKinsey & Co. They also said she was a formidable character, and well able to stand up to Mr Daniels, who is rumoured to have adopted quite an autocratic style.