UK’s Biggest Banks create Diversity Targets for Senior Roles

Lloyds Bank

The UK banks Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland have implemented new diversity targets in order to improve their representation of ethnic minorities, particularly within senior positions.

Two UK banks, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), are creating new diversity targets for their ethnic representation. In particular, they are focusing these goals for their senior roles.

The financial industry has previously faced criticism over a lack of diverse workplaces within banks. However, Lloyds and RBS hope to take action on this issue with their plans.

Lloyds will actually become the first FTSE 100 company to set ethnic diversity targets for top roles. The bank aims to increase its senior workers from ethnic backgrounds up to 8% amongst its 7,000 positions by 2020. This would be an increase from the current level of 5.6%.

If achieved, the target would mean appointing around 150 BAME individuals to leadership roles.

It also plans to improve diversity within the total workforce and raise the proportion of BAME staff to 10% by 2020. At the moment, this figure stands at 8% – not yet fully representing the percentage of ethnic minorities living in the UK, which is 14%.

The bank will begin to implement their targets in late February 2018, as part of their ‘Helping Britain Prosper‘ action plan.

Meanwhile, RBS plans to double its ethnic diversity representation within its senior teams by 2025. This would increase the proportion of their BAME workforce from 8% up to 14%.

Should both banks complete their targets with the expected years, they would not only increase their workforce. But they would also develop a better representation of their customer base. Taking a look at Lloyds, 10% of their customers identify as BAME. While 15% of RBS’ customers also identify as the same.

RBS’ Head of Inclusion Marjorie Strachan said:

“To serve our customers well we need to truly represent the diversity of the communities we operate in.”

These diversity targets also mean both banks can reap the potential benefits a diverse workplace can bring, such as innovation and creativity. Lloyd’s Director for Responsible Business and Inclusion Fiona Cannon said:

“What gets measured gets done and we are confident we can meet our diversity goals with the right focus and determination.

“We recognise that companies with diverse management teams perform better and have made a public commitment to create a truly inclusive workforce. It is our ambition to better reflect the customers and communities which we serve.”

Both banks also aim to release their annual results, which will detail their business plans for the year ahead. While RBS publishes their strategy on 23rd February 2018, Lloyds unveils their plan during the same week.

Many entrepreneurs have welcomed the new goals, such as the Director of Runnymede Trust, Omar Khan. He said:

“It is essential banking becomes more representative of its customer base. The private sector has shown that targets can be an effective tool, and we would like to see this best practice rolled out across the private, public, and charitable sectors.”

Indeed, the new plans mark encouraging news for diversity. Recently, many companies are also striving to push inclusive workplaces and are even asking suppliers or other businesses about their own workforce.

While Lloyds and RBS start work on their new targets, perhaps fellow UK banks will follow their path.

Image courtesy of Andrew Winning/Reuters.