Lloyds Banking Group PLC said Monday its chief executive, Eric Daniels, will step down a year from now, giving the U.K. bank time to pick his successor.

The announcement ends months of speculation about the fate of Daniels. The American, who became the CEO in 2003, has been under fire for masterminding Lloyds' acquisition of the ailing mortgage lender HBOS PLC. The purchase nearly crippled Lloyds and forced it to accept a government bailout that left British taxpayers owning 41% of the company.

It isn't clear who might succeed Daniels. Inside Lloyds, the possibilities include retail banking boss Helen Weir or finance chief Tim Tookey. Bloomberg News, citing an analyst, said Nationwide CEO Graham Beale and HSBC Holdings PLC's chief financial officer, Douglas Flint, are among the possibilities.

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