Horta-Osorio is thought to be suffering from fatigue and has been told to rest by doctors. He is expected to return to work later this year, the banking group says.
The executive has led an overhaul of the group’s brand strategy since joining from Santander earlier this year. Halifax has repositioned as a challenger brand, while Lloyds TSB will become a relationship bank.
He has overseen 15,000 job losses and the forced sell-off of more than 600 Lloyds TSB branches.
The bank’s board will meet later today (2 November) to discuss an interim replacement. It is thought that group finance director Tim Tookey will act as CEO in Horta-Osorio’s absence despite recently announcing he is leaving to join Friends Life in February.
A Lloyds Banking Group statement says: “The board of Lloyds Banking Group announces that following medical advice Antonio Horta-Osorio is taking a temporary leave of absence from his duties as group chief executive of the bank due to illness. Antonio is expected to return to his position before the end of the year.”