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Lloyds to bulk up bonus pool by nearly 10 percent: Sky

Demonstrators protest against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline in San Francisco, California February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
Demonstrators protest against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline in San Francisco, California February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

(Reuters) - State-backed Lloyds Banking Group is handing out 395 million pounds ($651.12 million) in bonuses for last year, including an award of just under 2 million pounds to its chief executive, Sky News reported, without citing sources.

Lloyds agreed the amount on Tuesday with its biggest investor UK Financial Investments (UKFI), which manages British taxpayers' the 33 percent stake in the lender, Sky said on its website. (http://link.reuters.com/jeq76v)

The near-400 million pound figure, which the broadcaster said would be announced with Lloyd's full-year results on Thursday, is about 10 percent higher than the 360 million pound bonus pool the lender paid out last year.

Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio's award will be in shares, deferred for five years, Sky added.

Sky said, the bonus would be conditional on the bank's stock price remaining for six months above 73.6 pence - the price the British government bought it at when it bailed Lloyds out during the 2008 financial crisis. The bonus could alternatively be awarded if the Government sells at least half of its remaining stake at a profit.

Horta-Osorio received his 2012 bonus of 1.5 million pounds under similar terms. Under last year's deal, however, the Government would have had to sell at least a third of its holding for a profit, not half.

The news came on the same day that Barclays , Britain's third largest bank, said it had raised its bonuses for investment bankers by 13 percent to 2.4 billion pounds despite a slump in profit, prompting fury among politicians who said the lender had not learned the lessons of the financial crisis.

Banks have been under pressure to rein in pay, as regulators and politicians say it encourages risk-taking and contributed to the 2008 global crisis.

Sources told Reuters last week that Deutsche Bank had capped cash bonus payouts for its bankers at 300,000 euros ($410,300) for the second year running.

Lloyds and UKFI could not be contacted outside of business hours. ($1 = 0.6067 British pounds) ($1 = 0.7312 euros)

(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore, editing by William Hardy)

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