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Lloyds Says CEO Didn’t Break Expense Rules During Singapore Trip

Lloyds Banking Group Plc said Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio did not break its expenses policy while on a business trip after a British newspaper raised questions about whether the bank covered personal costs. The CEO of Britain s largest mortgage lender paid his own personal expenses while he was in Singapore for the International Monetary Conference two months ago, the London-based bank said in a statement Wednesday. Chairman Norman Blackwell ordered a probe Tuesday into Horta-Osorio s spending on the trip after the Sun newspaper s report, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

In this case there is no breach of our policy and the personal expenses are paid for by Antonio, the bank said in an e-mailed statement. Antonio remains committed to the group s strategy and to the bank. A spokeswoman for Lloyds declined to comment on the personal matters raised by the newspaper and said Horta-Osorio wasn t available for comment.

Horta-Osorio, 52, announced plans last month to eliminate 3,000 jobs and close 200 more branches as he warned Britain s vote to leave the European Union would hurt Lloyds s ability to grow dividend payments. The Portuguese ex-Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker has been at the helm of the partially taxpayer-owned lender for five years.

Lloyds said the bank would meet legitimate business expenses incurred by staff and that personal expenses are met by employees themselves. It said in practice an individual executive will pay all expenses incurred, personal and business, and then reclaim the business expenses from the company.

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