In awarding the title to Mr Horta-Osório, Euromoney stated in its announcement that it was in recognition of his efforts to restore the UK bank to profitability over the past two years. A spokesperson for Euromoney stated:
“Tough decisions taken at critical times have helped revive the fortunes of Lloyds Banking Group. Now António Horta-Osório can concentrate on making the most of the UK’s biggest bank.”
In particular, Euromoney’s assessment of Mr Horta-Osório pointed to his achievement of the Group’s reducing non-core assets where they did not fit with the Group’s new UK and customer-focused model, and for doing this in a capital-accretive basis. It also suggested that the Chancellor’s recent statement about the readiness of Lloyds to return to the private sector is a reflection of how the business has been revitalised under Horta-Osório.
In naming Lloyds Banking Group as Best Bank (UK), the Euromoney judging panel commended its efforts to support the UK economy. In particular, it pointed to how the Group has supported one-in-four mortgages for first-time buyers, and grown SME lending by 4% against a market contraction of 4%. It also praised the relaunching of Halifax as a leading UK banking brand.
Commenting on being named Banker of the Year, Mr Horta-Osório said: “I am honoured to have won this prestigious award. It is testimony to the hard work done by teams across the business to support our strategy of transforming the Group into a simple, UK customer-focused, low-risk retail and commercial bank that is delivering real benefits for customers, colleagues and shareholders.”
Sir Win Bischoff, Chairman of Lloyds banking Group, stated: “This award is a fitting recognition of what António and the team have achieved in re-establishing Lloyds as a great banking name and business. We anticipated that our strategic plan to transform the business would take between three and five years but, two years on from António launching it, we are ahead of schedule and making substantial progress across all aspects of the strategy. The bank is now back to profitability which will enable it fully to support businesses, households and communities."