Noel Edmonds gatecrashes Lloyds AGM

Edmonds purchased one share at 67p so he could attend the meeting and was among 20.78% shareholders who voted against pay plans for the bank’s top bosses.

The former Deal or No Deal presenter is seeking compensation from the bank after allegedly falling victim to fraud by former staff at HBOS Reading, which Lloyds rescued during the financial crisis.

During the AGM in Edinburgh, he told bosses: “If you want to turn it into a game show, the way you treat us, I would call it ‘Pointless’.

Noel Edmonds gatecrashes Lloyds AGM
Noel Edmonds gatecrashes Lloyds AGM

“If you want to turn it into ‘Jail Or No Jail’ you are going in the right direction.

“Things are very serious but I keep asking questions and you keep ducking them.”

In response, Lord Blackwell said: “This isn’t a show Mr Edmonds, it’s an AGM.

Lloyds bank
Image:Lloyds Banking Group held its AGM in Edinburgh

“You’ve set out one version of events on what you believe happened. We have a different version of events, we do not agree.

“You wish to pursue it in court and I’m happy to leave it to the court to look at the evidence and I’m happy to let the judge decide on the basis of that evidence what the right outcome is and I hope you are too.”

More than a fifth of Lloyds shareholders voted against the bank’s remuneration report in a provisional ballot at the AGM.

The bank’s boss, Antonio Horta-Osorio, took home £6.42m in 2017, up 10.9% from £5.79m in 2016.

Mr Edmonds has suggested that Mr Horta-Osorio knew about the misdeeds of former staff at HBOS Reading.

Lloyds has rejected the basis of Mr Edmonds’ claim.

Mr Edmonds added: “I know I will win and I know that victory will be valuable to thousands of other people that have been so badly treated.

“I had to buy a 67p share, which has gone down and never before have I wanted something to fail as much as that share. I paid 67p to grill the chairman, I think that’s quite a good deal.”

Antonio Horta-Osorio is the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group
Image:Antonio Horta-Osorio is the chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group

Before the meeting, advisory group Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) had recommended a vote against the report, highlighting discrepancies between “pay and relative performance”.

The group said: “Although pay ratios have not been disclosed, ISS has calculated that the CEO’s pay is 95 times that of the average employee in the organisation.”

They also questioned the “unduly complex” bonus structure and highlighted the “lack of clarity in the company’s public disclosures on how bonus outcomes are actually determined”.

Lloyds chairman Lord Blackwell said after the vote: “The vote has been carried, however, as I said, we are disappointed that a number of shareholders did not support the resolution this year and we will of course note and respond to them.”

But while the protest will not change the remuneration, it will see Lloyds placed on a public register of firms in which over 20% of shareholders have revolted over a resolution.

Shareholders also attacked the bank’s customer service record, raising issues from the mistreatment of small businesses to mortgage rates for vulnerable customers.

Reports from the meeting described it as being “predominantly hostile”.

In February, Lloyds Banking Group hailed a “landmark year” as it announced annual profits had soared by 24% to a record £5.3bn.

Similar Posts