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Lloyds sets out £4bn share issue

Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Victor Blank is stepping down from his role within the next year.

Blank, who joined Lloyds as chairman in May 2006, is set to retire by the group’s AGM in June 2010. He came under fire over the bank’s takeover of HBOS. Lloyds saw £10.8bn losses on HBOS for 2008 and the taxpayer had to take a 43 per cent stake.

Lloyds chief executive Eric Daniels admitted to the Treasury select committee in February that the bank had not done as much due diligence on HBOS as it would have liked.

In a separate announcement on Monday, Lloyds invited investors to buy up to £4bn of shares to replace preference shares held by the Treasury. The deal is underwritten by the Treasury and could see the taxpayer stake rise to 65 per cent if there is low take-up.

Lord Leitch has been appointed deputy chairman and trade minister and former Standard Chartered chairman Mervyn Davies has been tipped as a possible successor to Blank, along with former trade minister Lord Digby Jones and former Prudential chairman Harvey McGrath.

Blank says: “I will continue working until my successor is appointed to ensure the successful integration of the two banks.” Lord Leitch says the board was “unanimous” in wanting Blank to seek re-election.

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