Lloyds boss regrets ‘adverse publicity’ after reports of affair
He has written a memo to staff after reports he took a lover on a business trip to Singapore, running up a hotel bill of nearly £4,000.
Mr Horta-Osorio, married with three children, said that his expenses were fully compliant.
The bank is in the process of cutting 3,000 jobs to increase profitability.
Lloyds is still about 9% state-owned. The government held a 40% stake in the bank at one point after rescuing it during the financial crisis.
In his memo, Mr Horta-Osorio said: “My personal life is obviously a private matter as it is for anyone else.
“But I deeply regret being the cause of so much adverse publicity and the damage that has been done to the group’s reputation. I have been a strong advocate of expecting the highest professional standards from everyone at the bank, and that includes me.
“Having the highest professional standards raises the bar against which we are judged and as I have always said, we must recognise that mistakes will be made.”
The bank has said previously that it was satisfied there had been no breach of policy regarding Mr Horta-Osorio’s expenses and that all personal expenses had been paid for by himself.
The 52-year-old added that he was “as committed as ever” to leading the company.
He became chief executive of Lloyds in March 2011. A few months after taking on the role, he took extended sick leave because of a stress-related illness.
Lloyds insiders say the chief executive is unlikely to be sacked – because of the need for stability post-Brexit and ahead of the planned sale of the government’s remaining stake – which will be one of the largest ever retail share sales.