Antonio Horta-Osorio will deliver its strategic review for Lloyds; main highlights include cost control, service and 150 year old brand – Halifax.
It’s been almost two months since the Independent Commission on Banking has given its interim report suggesting ring-fencing UK banks for the protection of small depositors. Having spent the past two months understanding and digesting the commission’s report the CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio remained un-amused. According to the reports he was more interested on what ICB chairman’s comments on competition.
The bank has already launched a process of shedding 632 branches and some of it’s once most well-known brands – TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester under the flag of Project Verde. However, Sir John Vickers’ commission insisted that the banking giant should sell more.
According to the CEO Horta-Osoria the suggestion by the commission is a step too far and the Chancellor was not clear on the subject of competition. After the disclosure of the fact that Treasury would force ICB to have an open conversation with Lloyds over the number of branches it might have to lose – leaves Horta worried more.
Mr Osborne strongly welcomed the Commission’s proposal on increasing competition. However, with the competition issue hanging over his head the CEO of Llyod’s bank is in the process of finalizing its strategy. The current challenges faced by him include the attempts to revive and refine some of the best known banking brands.
Lloyds bank control around 25% of UK current accounts and 28% of mortgage market. The famous brands under its banner are Halifax, TSB, Lloyds, Cheltenham & Gloucester and Bank of Scotland.
It is predicated that Mr. Horta will resist the ICB’s calls for more branches to be sold off. It’s believed that he is preparing a dossier as a response for Commission’s interim report.
Keeping in mind the customer behaviour, he is expected to note that an increasing number of customers never actually enter a physical branch. On June 30, he will deliver a career-defining review of the bank’s business, which exists across more than 30 countries, not fully integrated since the HBOS-Lloyds merger in 2009.
Revival of Halifax brand as the bank’s key retail brand which can win the hearts of the customers is the focal point of the group. However, key to this will be product innovation, leading current accounts and developing strong saving products.