THE boss of Lloyds Banking Group has admitted he “overdid it“ trying to turn around the bank before sleep problems eventually forced him into a temporary leave of absence.
Antonio Horta-Osorio said a specialist had told him that his “battery was in effect so run down it was virtually on zero“.
He went to the Priory clinic for a week to rest and by the time of his return home he was sleeping eight hours a day.
The company has said Horta-Osorio would be returning to his job on January 9 after being given a clean bill of health.
Recalling the time prior to being signed off work in late October, Horta-Osorio said: “When I became chief executive in March I had a very clear idea of what had to be done. I threw myself into the job.
“There were very many issues to be tackled.
“I focused too much on too many details,” he said.
Horta-Osorio says he began to realise something was wrong at the beginning of September when he noticed that he had started to have trouble sleeping.
“I’d go to bed exhausted but could not sleep. I could not switch off. I understand now why they use sleep deprivation to torture prisoners,” he said.
Mr Horta-Osorio said he was not going to work any less – just differently by detaching himself from Lloyds’ day-to-day running to focus on strategy.
Asked if City workers could learn anything from his experience, he said: “Anyone under extreme pressure and suffering should seek professional help fast.”