Lloyds Bank promises more black managers in wake of Black Lives Matter

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/06/13: A man uses the cash point machine at Lloyds Bank in London. (Photo by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A man uses the cash point machine at Lloyds Bank in London. Photo: Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Lloyds Bank (LLOY.L) has publicly committed to hiring more black senior managers as part of a race action plan to address under representation.

Lloyds said on Friday it would increase the proportion of black senior leaders in the company from the current level of 0.6% to 3% within the next five years.

The pledge comes in the wake of global Black Lives Matter protests, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in the US.

Lloyds did not specifically mention either Black Lives Matter or George Floyd in its release but said recent “global events have prompted both individuals and organisations to pause, reflect and review what they can do to create an inclusive environment for all”. The bank said it had held “in-depth listening sessions” with staff, which had informed its new strategy.

“It is clear that achieving an inclusive environment for everyone is our priority, but right now we have very specific challenges that we have to address urgently for our Black colleagues,” chief executive António Horta-Osório said in a statement.

“Feedback has provided a clear way forward and as a start, we have established an immediate action plan which focuses on Culture, Recruitment and Progression.”

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As well as a public target around recruitment, Lloyds said it would publish an ethnicity pay gap report later this year and pledged to set up a BAME advisory board to inform the bank’s diversity strategy.

“This is just the beginning,” Horta-Osório said. “The commitments we are making will not fix the issues overnight, and targets and measures will only take us so far but we have to challenge ourselves to do better and I am fully committed that we will do so.”

In 2018, Lloyds became the first FTSE 100 company to introduce BAME recruitment targets. The bank pledged to increase the proportion of BAME staff from 8.3.% to 10% by 2020 and increase BAME senior managers from 5.6% to 8%.

The bank has already hit its target for staff representation, with 10.3% of staff now from a BAME background, but remains just below its senior managers target. 7.3% of senior managers at the bank are currently from ethnically diverse backgrounds.

Horta-Osório said: “We aim to create a fully inclusive environment that is representative of modern day Britain and where everyone can reach their potential. Getting this right is at the heart of our purpose to Help Britain Prosper. A more inclusive society is a more prosperous society, and a diverse business is a better business.”