Responsible Business of the Year: Lloyds Banking Group for building on a 250-year legacy with clear social purpose.

Award Type: 

Winner

Lloyds Banking Group is Responsible Business of the Year, building on a 250-year legacy with clear social purpose.

Impacts

  • 530M in lending to support energy efficient commercial real estate developments
  • 5% increase in number of roles held by senior women since 2014
  • 14% reduction in carbon emissions since 2016

Action 

Lloyds Banking Group is a business that has been on our high streets for more than 250 years and today has more than 27 million customers. At the heart of the company’s digital transformation and desire to keep pace with changing customer demands is its Helping Britain Prosper Plan, which focuses on the areas in which it believes it can make the biggest difference. This includes 22 specific targets designed to tackle some of the social and economic issues that matter most to Britain, and its people, businesses and communities.

“Our Prosper Plan captures the commitments we’re making to help the country economically and socially, which as a UK focused retail and commercial bank we are uniquely placed to do,” says group chief executive, António Horta-Osório.

For example, there are targets attached to addressing Britain’s housing needs, helping people to save for their future, supporting start-ups and tackling disadvantage through four independent charitable foundations. Since 2014, the group has given £72 million to a range of foundations.

Lloyds Banking Group has also committed to supporting the low-carbon economy. In 2016, the company set up a £1 billion Green Loan initiative to incentivise commercial real estate to become more energy efficient. As a result, more than 5 million square feet of Britain’s real estate became more energy efficient in 2017. It also agreed a £50 million loan to help one of the UK’s largest pub companies introduce energy saving upgrades, and refinanced a €650 million loan to Europe’s largest commercial real estate business, which incentivised performance against a number of green performance indicators.

The company is also helping more of its commercial clients to understand and manage their sustainability risk by completing an environmental assessment at the start of every new client relationship.

Elsewhere, Lloyds Banking Group has helped 440,000 businesses to start-up, there has been a 5% increase in the number of roles held by senior women since 2014 (from 29% to 34%), and the company’s carbon emissions have fallen by 14% since 2016. Meanwhile, a newly launched confidential ‘Speak Up’ line is enabling suppliers to raise concerns.

However, it is in its digital transformation that Lloyds has the opportunity to create a range of social benefits. In 2017, Lloyds Banking Group was ranked No. 1 globally by the equity research house Autonomous for its existing levels of digitisation.  This was largely due to the popularity and functionality of its mobile banking app and the strength of its IT spend and cost/income ratio. 

Over the next three years, the business will invest £3 billion – a 40% increase – to deliver the scale of digital transformation it says is necessary to succeed. This will include helping to support the building of digital skills and close skills gaps. It has a goal to train 1.8 million people, businesses and charities in digital skills by 2020. More than 700,000 received this training in 2017.

There is also a concerted effort to boost digital inclusion, particularly among the 10% of UK households that do not have access to the internet, something that is hindering financial inclusion. Part of the investment will also be used to continue to support vulnerable customers who need easy access to financial products and services. In 2017, Lloyds’ specialist support team helped 1,900 customers with cancer with financial advice and medical and emotional support from its partners at Macmillan.

As the company says, doing business responsibly and sustainably is not separate to its strategy or approach; it is integral. “Our Group values underpin everything we do: putting customers first, making a difference together and keeping it simple.”