by Sangeeta Haindl
When the U.K.’s Chancellor of Exchequer, George Osborne, announced his very controversial 2016 Budget last month, he said, “We know that those who suffer most when Britain loses control of its public finances and the economy crashes aren’t the best off, but the poorest and the most vulnerable. This budget will lift 1.3 million of the lowest paid out of income tax, it will deliver improvements to our schools, help the least well-off to save, and support business and enterprise to create jobs and boost social mobility.”
However, the national budget alone cannot help Britain prosper. Other efforts are required. As part of its evolving corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, Lloyds bank has published its latest Helping Britain Prosper Plan as part of its 2015 Responsible Business suite of communications. The Plan aims to help people tackle some of the issues they’re facing – such as getting on the housing ladder, finding a job or growing a business. It also focuses on the areas of employee health, engagement and diversity, customer priorities, apprenticeships and payment to suppliers on time. The Helping Britain Prosper Plan makes sense for the Lloyds Group because of its scale and presence in communities across Britain. As a result, it believes no other bank is better placed to help the nation financially.
Findings from the Helping Britain Prosper Plan reveal that 320,000 hours of volunteering were delivered by its colleagues to help community organisations and charities; that £17m was donated to the four independent corporate Foundations to tackle disadvantages across the U.K. and Channel Islands; and that the Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales is the U.K.’s largest corporate foundation. Plus, an additional £1m of funding was given to support the important work of credit unions.
The Helping Britain Prosper Plan, launched in 2014, was always intended to keep pace with Britain’s changing needs. As a result, in late 2015, a full review of the areas of focus and targets was conducted; now, the number of metrics has been reduced, making them simpler, and focused in just three key areas - helping people, businesses and communities to prosper. The Plan is motivated to measure the positive outcomes it achieves, not just its reach. New targets have been developed in areas such as providing more funding support for social housing, creating more external advanced manufacturing apprenticeships as a result of £1 million a year in funding and helping more consumers plan and save for retirement.
Lloyds has joined the likes of Barclays in upping its social responsibility, as the financial sector as a whole wants to shape a culture of more sustainable and appropriate behavior. Lloyds recognises that when people, businesses and communities across Britain prosper, so does its bank.
Photo Credit: Lloyds Bank
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