Corporate Social Responsibility
Our Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy In The UK
We believe that everyone should have equal access to career opportunities, and thus have the chance to reach their potential. We also believe that a diverse workforce is key to a thriving business.
So, we’ve focused our CSR strategy on making the banking sector more accessible to individuals who are under-represented in financial services - BAME, women, and those from low-socio economic backgrounds. We’re benchmarking our programmes against the Sustainable Development Goals in alignment with the bank’s priority – to contribute to the positive transformations of our economies and societies - and we are centring them around the skills development of these groups to increase employment opportunities for them in both the banking sector and beyond.
Through this, we aim to enhance the diversity of our workforce, as well as empower our staff to contribute to our overall goal by sharing their own skills and experiences, so that together, we can make a positive impact on the community.
Programmes And Partnerships
Our Fundraising Charity Partner: Shelter
Following the devastating impact of Covid-19, the right to a safe, secure home has never been more important. Yet hundreds of thousands of people are homeless, living in cramped temporary accommodation or sleeping rough. One in three people are impacted by the housing emergency, living in overcrowded, dangerous, unaffordable housing. Each year, Shelter supports millions of people who are struggling with homelessness or housing issues to defend their right to a safe home, securing the foundation to build their lives on.
We have partnered with Shelter to support the #FightForHome through the Getting Real Opportunities of Work (GROW) Programme, which offers 12-month paid placements to people who have experienced homelessness. In their roles, trainees use their lived experiences as a tool to tackle the housing emergency, influencing design of services, and supporting other people affected by housing issues or homelessness to get involved in campaigns, as well as access the support they need to find a safe home.
Throughout our three-year partnership, we will support 15 GROW trainees by funding paid employment and the support they need to overcome barriers to progressing into the workplace through various funding including employee fundraising and matched funding from the SG UK Foundation. The success of the programme means that 90% of trainees will go on to education or full-time work, giving them a chance to rebuild their own lives.
Volunteering: Sharing Our Talents, Building Our Skills
We have a talented, knowledgeable team of employees who are enthusiastic to share their wealth of expertise and experience to positively impact our local communities. So, we offer all employees 24 hours per year of volunteering time, which can be used to undertake a personal volunteering activity, or to access the range of CSR programmes organised centrally.
There are opportunities for employees at all levels to share their time, skills and experience; from one-off employability, enterprise and business planning workshops, to ongoing primary tutoring, adult literacy sessions, mentoring and trusteeships.
In 2020, over 7,700 hours were volunteered by our staff digitally during the pandemic - supporting thousands of beneficiaries from our neighbouring communities including pupils, young people, local residents, charities, social enterprises and schools.
We recognise that employees can also enhance their skills and personal development through volunteering. In fact, 80% of staff in our annual volunteer survey attributed improved communication, leadership and people management skills to their involvement in CSR, while more than 70% said they had improved problem solving, time management and adopted new ways of working. Finally, we know that the majority of staff (92%) staff feel an increased sense of wellbeing and happiness as a result of their participation in CSR activity.
Widening Access To The Banking Sector
We are committed to supporting people from all backgrounds to access the financial services and through our social mobility programmes, we encourage and support young people to access alternative routes into banking. Through summer internships, we have provided work placement and training opportunities as well as creating a diverse talent pipeline for the bank.
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