Lloyds Shareholders Lodge Protest Vote Over Executive Pay

(Bloomberg) -- More than a third of Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s voting investors protested the bank’s plan to change how it pays executives, though their concerns weren’t enough to block the policy.

At the U.K. bank’s annual meeting Thursday, 36% of voting shareholders rejected Lloyds’s remuneration policy, which sets out how it will reward top staff for the next three years. A similar number voted against changes to the lender’s long-term share plan.

While the bank got enough votes to pass all resolutions, the dissent was far higher than a year ago and followed opposition from proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services, Sky News has reported. Two years ago, a fifth of Lloyds investors lodged protest votes over pay.

“In the light of today’s votes we will continue to consult with shareholders and other stakeholders and will consider the full range of feedback as we implement our new remuneration policy,” the bank said in a statement.

The new policy reduces the total amount Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio can earn each year to about 7 million pounds ($8.6 million), down from almost 10 million pounds, and changes share-based rewards to make the payments less volatile. He remains one of the U.K.’s best-paid bankers.

In April, Horta-Osorio and Chief Financial Officer William Chalmers opted to forgo their bonuses for 2020, joining executives at other banks responding to the coronavirus pandemic and the government assistance the lenders received.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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