Lloyds TSB shareholders agreed to the possible merger with HBOS in Glasgow yesterday.
A 96% vote in favour from the shareholders is a near guarantee that the acquisition will happen. Only 75% of the vote is needed from HBOS shareholders when they meet next month.
According to London brokers Fox-Pitt Kelton, many Lloyds TSB shareholders also have stakes in HBOS so it is very likely the vote will be in favour.
The rescue merger that should happen in January 2009 is “an important milestone” said Lloyds TSB chairman Sir Victor Black.
The potential loss of thousands of jobs resulting from the takeover spiked protests by the union, Unite, outside the SECC in Glasgow where the meeting was taking place.
Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of Unite, said on the union’s website: “Employees from HBOS and LTSB deserve to have their concerns heard at the shareholders meeting. Along with the loyal customers, employees of LTSB and HBOS are the life-blood of these banks. Without the continuous dedication of these employees throughout the on-going financial crisis there would be no viable takeover for shareholders to discuss at their meeting.”
Faced with the protestors and petitioners, Sir Victor Black said the merger was the result of a decision to create the UK’s “leading financial services company.” He stated that any job losses would be discussed beforehand with unions and staff but refused to say if redundancies could be avoided all together or how many jobs he thought would be lost.
Saba Mozakka of Unite would give no further comment this morning.