Lloyds Chairman Sees 2012 Bonus Pool Down on Year

Bad Bonus Pool

Lloyds Banking Group is likely to pay its staff less in bonuses for 2012 than the year before and will "undoubtedly" pay out less than the other major British banks, its chairman said on Wednesday.

Chairman Win Bischoff said Lloyds had not finalized its bonus pool for last year, but when quizzed by UK lawmakers he said the bank had an idea what the range of incentive compensation might be.

"It will be the lowest, undoubtedly, of any bank. It is likely to be lower," he said.

Bischoff said he was "very conscious" that Lloyds was 40 percent owned by the taxpayer so it was aware of public sentiment on bonuses.

He said once the bonus pool was set, the board would determine how much to award Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio.

Horta-Osorio said he had not discussed his bonus in advance with the board. The CEOs of Barclays and RBS have both said they do not want to be considered for any bonus for 2012.

PPI Claims

Horta-Osorio on Monday backed a time limit for customers to claim compensation for mis-sold insurance, which is costing British banks billions of pounds.

The British Bankers Association, a lobby group, wants an April 2014 deadline for claims arising from payment protection insurance (PPI) sold with loans and mortgages.

Horta-Osorio told a parliamentary commission on banking standards that a cut-off would benefit customers and banks, and remove the huge cost of investigating bogus complaints from claims management companies.

UK banks have set aside 12 billion pounds ($19 billion) to deal with the worst mis-selling scandal in British history, and industry sources have said the bill could double.

Horta-Osorio also said the bank had set aside 90 million pounds to compensate small firms that were mis-sold complex interest rate hedging and indicated the sum would rise.

He said Lloyds was examining more swaps transactions for potential mis-selling following a report from the UK's financial regulator.

Britain's banks face another round of compensation claims that could total billions of pounds after the Financial Services Authority found the products had been widely mis-sold.

"The new scope of the review is significantly wider than it was in December, Horta-Osorio said, adding that Lloyds will update the market on the issue at the time of its full year results on March 1.

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