(Reuters) - Win Bischoff is stepping down as chairman of British state-backed Lloyds Banking Group <LLOY.L>, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing sources familiar with the plan, set to be announced ahead of Thursday's annual shareholder meeting.
With a strong executive team in place, Bischoff, who has overseen major restructuring and a return to profitability at Lloyds, is said to feel he has accomplished the task of stabilizing Lloyds, having brought in a strong executive team, the FT said.
Bischoff, 72-years old and who took the role in September 2009, wanted an earlier retirement, but Chief Executive Antonio Horta-Osorio's health scare in late 2011 forced him to put his plans on hold, his colleagues told the FT.
"Now everything is stable again, it's the right time to go," said one friend, according to the FT.
His retirement will allow Lloyds to bring in a new chairman before the year-end, well ahead of the potential timetable for the government to begin the process of selling its 39 per cent stake, the FT said.
Industry and political sources have told Reuters the government is keen to start selling off shares in the bank, ahead of the 2015 general election.
Lloyds declined to comment on the matter.
(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bangalore; Editing by Marguerita Choy)