Two key recruits vie for Lloyds finance post

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Two of António Horta-Osorio's key recruits are set to battle for the finance director's job at Lloyds Banking Group after Tim Tookey announced he was quitting Britain's biggest high street lender.

Mr Tookey is joining Friends Life, the UK life insurer assembled by Clive Cowdery's Resolution group. His decision clears the way for Antonio Lorenzo and Nathan Bostock to compete for the finance director's post.

Both men were recruited by Mr Horta-Osorio, who joined the bank from Santander UK as chief executive in February. Mr Lorenzo already heads the wealth division and Mr Bostock is due to join soon to run wholesale banking.

The loss of Mr Tookey is claimed to have been a disappointment to Mr Horta-Osorio. Mr Tookey yesterday denied any rift over stretching targets announced by both men in early summer, which include 15,000 job cuts at the state-backed bank.

Mr Tookey said: "There's been absolutely no disagreement on strategy between António and [me] at Lloyds. I've greatly enjoyed developing the strategy with António and bringing it to the market at the end of June, and I've enjoyed being part of the team that's now focused on delivering it."

The Lloyds boss hired his former colleagues Mr Lorenzo and Mr Bostock in raids on Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland, where Mr Bostock was in charge of offloading the bank's unwanted assets.

Citigroup banking analysts said: "Lloyds already has a wealth of experience internally. For example, Mr Bostock and Mr Lorenzo have both previously held the role of Santander UK chief financial officer."