Lloyds faces downgrade after chief exec steps back

Ratings agency Moody’s says it could downgrade Lloyds Banking Group’s credit rating following the announcement its chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio has had to take a temporary leave of absence due to health issues.

Moody’s says it is concerned the group may face a “major challenge in ensuring continuity of leadership” and over its ability to execute important tasks like the EU-mandated sale of 632 of its branches.

Horta-Osorio, who joined from Santander in March, has taken leave due to a stress-related illness but is expected back in work before Christmas. Finance director Tim Tookey has taken over his duties in the meantime.