Lloyds Banking Group is expected to announce that it plans to hand shares worth more than £1.5m to its boss, Antonio Horta-Osorio.
After Barclays kicked off the bank reporting season by controversially handing out higher bonuses despite a fall in profits, bailed-out Lloyds is to unveil the bonus for its chief executive alongside its results on Thursday.
It will stipulate that Horta-Osorio will only receive his bonus if the share price remains above 73.6p for six months or half of the remaining 33% taxpayer stake in the bank is sold off.
The 73.6p level is crucial as it is the price at which the taxpayer breaks even on its stake in Lloyds. Last year Horta-Osorio's bonus was similarly linked to the share price – and resulted in him receiving £2.3m after the terms were achieved.
Horta-Osorio will be hoping to avoid too much controversy over his bonus because the government managed to sell off a tranche of its stake last year.
The results – which the bank has already warned will include another provision for misselling payment protection insurance to take the total cost to nearly £10bn – will fuel further speculation about a sale of another part of the taxpayer stake as early as next month. An offering of the shares to retail investors is being prepared.
The bank is also expected to hand its staff bonuses worth £400m in total.
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