Lloyds Steps Towards Female Executive Target
The state-backed Lloyds Banking Group has taken a step towards meeting a self-imposed gender target for senior managers with the appointment of another top female executive.
Sky News understands that Lloyds issued an internal announcement on Wednesday which named Mary Hall as the lender's new group audit director, one of its most senior positions.
Ms Hall, who joins from KPMG, will report to Nick Luff, the departing finance director of Centrica who chairs Lloyds' audit committee.
She will become the second-most senior woman at the bank after Alison Brittain, who runs its retail banking operations.
Ms Hall's arrival comes nearly four months after Lloyds said that it wanted 40% of its top 5,000 posts to be filled by women by 2020.
That ambition will entail the appointment of an additional 600 women to senior jobs at Lloyds within six years, with roughly 28% of its top 5,000 jobs currently held by women.
One of Ms Hall's priorities will be to launch an exercise to tender Lloyds' audit contract, one of the most lucrative in British business.
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the incumbent, is expected to compete to retain the mandate from 1 January 2016, which will be subject to shareholder approval at next year's annual meeting.
Lloyds' pledge this year to bolster the number of top women at the bank came amid mixed results from a concerted push to improve boardroom diversity.
The Government has thrown its weight behind a voluntary campaign to ensure that 25% of the directorships of FTSE-100 companies are held by women by the end of next year and has threatened to impose formal quotas if the objective is not met.
Glencore, the miner and commodities trader, is now the only company in Britain's blue-chip share index which has an all-male board, a situation it has promised to rectify by the end of the year.