Lloyds set to appoint Lord Blackwell as chairman: source

File photograph shows a pedestrian passing the head office of the Lloyds Banking Group in London

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A pedestrian is seen passing the head office of the Lloyds Banking Group in central London in this August 5, 2009 file photograph. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Lloyds Banking Group (LLOY.L) is on the verge of appointing Norman Blackwell, currently chairman of its Scottish Widows arm, as the company's new chairman, a person familiar with the matter said.

Conservative peer Lord Blackwell is going through the bank's final approval processes and is set to replace outgoing chairman Win Bischoff as early next year, the source said.

Lloyds declined to comment.

Bischoff has said he plans to step down by next spring and Blackwell has been seen for some time as a leading candidate to succeed him. Blackwell's expected appointment was first reported by the Financial Times.

Blackwell, 61, has been on the Lloyds board since June 2012. He is currently chairman of support services firm Interserve (IRV.L) and was previously director of group development at NatWest, now part of Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L), and was a partner at consultancy McKinsey.

Lloyds has turned around its fortunes and its shares are up 67 percent this year, allowing the government to start selling its stake.

Britain still owns 33 percent of the bank and would like to sell all its stake by the 2015 election, possibly including a sale to retail investors - and the new chairman will play a key role in that process.

(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by David Goodman)

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