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Give Lloyds’ bosses the time they need

How will history judge Sir Victor Blank and Eric Daniels’ time at the helm of Lloyds TSB?

Sir Brian Pitman reeled in Cheltenham & Gloucester and TSB, while Peter Ellwood landed Scottish Widows.

The current duo have presided over the HBOS fiasco and become seen as pariahs. But will the long view prove them saints or sinners?

The reality is that none of the critics who are shouting from the sidelines have any better ideas of how to get us out of our mess than those who are trying and failing.

But there is an underlying strength in the UK banking system which will see it endure and prosper once more.

So when that time comes and HBOS’ non-toxic assets begin to bear fruit, will the Blank/Daniels partnership receive posthumous recognition or are they doomed to be known as the pair who sold Black Beauty into slavery?

With disaffected shareholders and the tabloid media out for blood the lure of the pension pot must be compelling, but I’d like to see the pair hang on.

At least we should allow those who helmed the ship onto the rocks help refloat it.

Circumstances may have dented Daniels’ reputation as a cautious banker but he has the courage needed to repair the damage. Not only should he be allowed to fulfil his vision for the Lloyds TSB/HBOS merger, we should insist he is retained to do this.

We need determined and experienced bankers and despite the black horse’s current troubles, Daniels qualifies on both counts.


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