UPDATE 1-Lloyds Bank picks Norman Blackwell to steer privatisation
* Blackwell held senior banking, insurance positions
* Was head of Prime Minister's Policy Unit in 1990s
* Government expected to sell more shares next year
By Matt Scuffham
LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group has chosen Norman Blackwell as its new chairman to steer the state-backed lender's return to private ownership.
Lloyds, 33 percent government-owned, said on Monday that Blackwell, the chairman of its Scottish Widows arm, would replace Win Bischoff on April 3. Bischoff had already announced his intention to retire as Lloyds' chairman next year.
Blackwell has held senior positions in banking and insurance and was head of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit in the 1990s. He is a representative of the ruling Conservative party in Britain's upper house of parliament and has sat on the boards of the country's competition and telecoms watchdogs.
"Our desire was to find someone with deep financial services experience who would also have credibility with our key stakeholders," said Lloyds' senior independent director Tony Watson, who led the search for Bischoff's successor.
Britain's banks are finding it hard to find chairmen untainted by banking scandals but able to ask searching questions of management.
Watson said Blackwell, who has been on the Lloyds board since June 2012, was the unanimous choice of the board.
Blackwell is chairman of support services firm Interserve and was previously director of group development at NatWest, now part of Royal Bank of Scotland. He was also a partner at consultancy McKinsey.
The government began offloading its shares in September, selling a 6 percent stake, and has indicated it wants to sell more next year, possibly including a sale to retail investors.
UKFI, which manages the government's stakes in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, agreed not to sell any more shares for a period of 90 days after the first sale on Sept. 16. Shares in Lloyds, up 1.3 percent to 78.4 pence at 1250 GMT, are trading above the 73.6 pence average price which the government bought in at.
- Malaysia air probe finds scant evidence of attack: sources |
- Search widened as Malaysia air probe finds scant evidence of attack |
- Confrontation in Ukraine as diplomacy stalls |
- Exclusive: Chinese raw materials also found on U.S. B-1 bomber, F-16 jets
- Freescale loss in Malaysia tragedy leads to travel policy questions