The chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group will unveil a shake-up of his top team on Wednesday, offering a potential clue to the identity of his eventual successor.
Sky News has learnt that the UK’s biggest high street lender will announce later that Andrew Bester, its chief executive of commercial banking, will leave Lloyds after five years in the job.
He will be replaced by David Oldfield, who runs its retail banking operations, and who sources said was likely to be a candidate to succeed Antonio Horta-Osorio when he eventually leaves the company.
Simon Davies, a former partner at the ‘Magic Circle’ law firm Linklaters, is also expected to leave Lloyds two years after his appointment to lead its human resources, legal and strategy functions.
A City adviser to Lloyds said that George Culmer, its chief financial officer, would take on responsibility for the strategy brief, which may also strengthen his case to replace Mr Horta-Osorio.
The shake-up will come just weeks after the Government sold the remainder of its shareholding in Lloyds, which stood at 43% after its £20bn bailout during the financial crisis of 2008.
It represents an attempt by Mr Horta-Osorio to reshape his team ahead of his next three-year strategy update, which he is due to give later this year.
One analyst said that the reorganisation of senior responsibilities would be interpreted in the City as a clear sign that Mr Horta-Osorio plans to stay at Lloyds for several more years.
He has been persistently linked with the looming vacancy at the top of HSBC Holdings, where Stuart Gulliver, the chief executive, has said he will step down in 2018.
Mr Horta-Osorio has, however, said that he is happy at the owner of the Halifax and has no plans to leave.
Lloyds declined to comment on Wednesday.