The chief of Lloyds Banking Group, Eric Daniels, is done with the daily grind and is off to relax in greener pastures, literally speaking. The chief executive is jumping the Lloyds ship and is ready to cash in his 2.5 million shares, worth an estimated two million pounds. That is in addition to the 192,000 pound yearly pension he will receive.
The bank’s shareholders have had a strained relationship with Daniels for a couple years now, for what they feel is good reason. His decision to purchase the ready-to-collapse Halifax bank of Scotland is still being held against him. This decision, along with the financial crisis, has led the bank down a value-dropping path which was next to impossible to survive.
It is understandable why retiring CEO’s have such animosities felt toward them, and Daniels is no different. Lloyds has an estimated 800,000 shareholders and they had plenty to say on news of his retirement.
“There are thousands of shareholders who are not fat cats, but ordinary men and women who have invested their life savings in what was Britains safest bank. The way they have been treated is nothing short of a national disgrace.” These were the words of a spokesman for Lloyds Action Now, a shareholder action group.
The action group is not only issuing public statements about their feelings. They are taking legal action as well. They have planned a national road show next month to rally support for the disgruntled shareholders. They added to their comments about Daniels, saying: “Mr. Daniels can run away from his mismanagement of Lloyds but he can’t run away from the consequences of his actions. He will be pursued in the courts.”
The history of the value of Lloyds shares is a common one among banks and other companies during the recession. In 2007, the value of a share sat at 6 pounds. Yesterday it closed at 77 pence.
Conversely, Daniels said it has been “a tremendous honor and privilege to run the bank”.