Lloyds Board Preparing to Hold Meeting to Discuss 'Brexit' View

  • Chairman Norman Blackwell had spoken in favor of leaving EU
  • CEO says bank is `inextricably linked' to U.K. economic health

Lloyds Banking Group Plc is drawing up contingency plans in preparation for a board meeting to discuss the potential implications of a British vote to leave the European Union.

Britain’s largest mortgage lender is looking at “multiple scenarios” resulting from a so-called Brexit vote to depart the bloc, Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio told reporters at a meeting on Thursday, without detailing the contingency plans. The meeting is scheduled for April 14, said a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the timing isn’t public.

Businesses from HSBC Holdings Plc to JPMorgan Chase & Co. have come out in favor of Prime Minister David Cameron’s campaign to keep Britain in the European Union ahead of a referendum on June 23. While Lloyds hasn’t made its position clear beyond saying the matter is for the British public to decide, Chairman Norman Blackwell has previously favored leaving the 28-member trading bloc, when speaking in a personal capacity.

“There are a lot of personal views around this room,” Blackwell said on Thursday, referring to his board.

Speaking as a Conservative member of the House of Lords in October, Blackwell, a former adviser to British prime ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher, said that it would not be “sustainable from a political and constitutional perspective” for the U.K. to remain within the EU without “significant change in the current treaty arrangements.” He declined to give his own view of Cameron’s recent renegotiation deal, when asked by Bloomberg News on Thursday.

After exiting operations around the world to focus on consumer lending in the U.K., Lloyds has become “inextricably linked” to the U.K. economy and the outcome of the vote will have a “significant impact on Lloyds,” Horta-Osorio said.

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