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61427465 - lloyds bank sign, colchester, essex

Lloyds CEO apologises to staff for alleged affair

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Lloyds Banking Group CEO António Horta-Osorio had finally decided to break the silence his alleged affair with Dr Wendy Piatt when he was on a business trip more than two weeks ago.

The 52 year old married father-of-three was photographed together with Piatt, the 45 year old director general of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, while in Singapore for a conference.

Yesterday, he circulated a memo to the bank’s 75,000 employees saying he deeply regrets that his personal life had caused so much adverse publicity and the damage that has been done to the group’s reputation. But did not address reports on his alleged affair.

He added that his personal life is obviously a private matter as it is for anyone else. He also expects the highest professional standards from everyone at the bank, including himself and he will continue to strive to meet those standards.

Here is the fill memo seen by BBC.

Friends of  Horta-Osorio said on Tuesday that he had been disappointed that a private family matter had been exposed in public, but acknowledged that as the head of a major public company such scrutiny is inevitable, the Sky Post reports.

“He is realistic about things, and wants to carry on delivering for Lloyds staff, shareholders and taxpayers,” one said.

Horta-Osorio is also facing questions about his expenses spent in Singapore after racking up a room bill of £3,276 during his stay in June, with £550 spent in the spa, according to the Daily Mail.

But the bank backed him up,  saying that his expenses claims had been reviewed and been found to have been filed entirely in accordance with company policy.

Addressing the issue, Horta-Osorio wrote in the memo to employees: “As you may have read, my expenses were reviewed in light of speculation by certain newspapers and the group has confirmed that they are fully compliant. As you’d expect, I pay for my personal expenses whilst away and only reclaim what is a company policy.”

Horta Osorio had been heavily criticised by the media since he announced that Lloyds is cutting 3,000 jobs and shutting 200 branches last month as part of an efficiency drive, despite doubling its first half profit for 2016 to £2.5billion.

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