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Lloyds Bank CEO says european banks are laggards on cost control

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Lloyds Banking Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio had some tough words for euro-area bank bosses, saying that no lender could be proud of its record in keeping a lid on costs.

[LONDON] Lloyds Banking Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta-Osorio had some tough words for euro-area bank bosses, saying that no lender could be proud of its record in keeping a lid on costs.

"I don't see any bank in Europe that has been leading in terms of its efficiency," said Horta-Osorio, speaking at a Barclays Plc financial services conference in New York on Monday.

Asked by a member of the audience what European banks could do to improve their attractiveness to investors, the Lloyds CEO said his main advice to competitors would be "to create a cost advantage."

Britain's largest mortgage lender earlier Monday suspended its share buyback after a last-minute rush of compensation claims for mis-sold payment protection insurance, taking its total costs for the scandal to £21.8 billion (S$37.1 billion).

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