Lloyds Bank chief tells rivals to stop treating customers badly

Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group

Britain’s banks should stop complaining about new regulations, Lloyds Banking Group’s chief executive has said, urging them instead to target the root cause of the red tape onslaught – bad treatment of customers.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio said politicians and regulators will only stop piling pressure on banks when they have convinced watchdogs and customers that the sector is behaving itself.

“The regulatory burden will only stop growing once the public and regulators trust banks to manage the sector in a responsible manner,” he told the British Bankers’ Association’s annual conference.

But Mr Horta-Osorio also warned he does not expect this to happen soon: “Clearing up our reputation will take time and there will be challenges along the way.”

The former Santander UK boss also said that his rivals should accept that the retail banking ring-fence is inevitable, and implement the changes instead of objecting to the reforms.

The ring-fence splits retail banking from investment banking, and represents a major cost to banks with large operations in both sectors.

Lloyds is barely affected by the ring-fence, while Barclays and HSBC face a serious challenge from the changes.

Former Barclays chairman Sir David Walker has spoken against the ring-fence, and HSBC has cited the incoming rules as one reason it is considering moving its headquarters out of the UK.

[SOURCE- “telegraph.co.uk”]