Our Citizenship strategy
We operate a profitable business helping individuals, businesses and institutions to pursue their goals.
We are committed to increasing lending to businesses and have exceeded our Project Merlin targets in the UK. Of the £43.6bn delivered, £14.7bn was provided to SMEs. We raised over US$1trillion in funding for institutions, including US$388bn for governments and public sector entities. In a difficult year for the Eurozone, we were the leading manager of bonds for the European Financial Stability Mechanism. We also help individuals to manage their money, and last year supported 10,000 people in buying their first home.
Case study: supporting UK SMEs
In 2011, we helped over 100,000 businesses to start up and our nationwide seminars provided practical business advice to over 14,000 people. We were one of the first banks to respond to the riots in UK communities in August, helping assess cash flow impact and offering temporary overdrafts.
We are holding ‘lending clinics’ across the UK, answering questions on lending and the loan application process, to provide small businesses with the confidence to invest for growth
We seek to reinforce our integrity every day in the way that we manage our business and treat our customers.
The interests of our customers and clients are at the heart of what we do, and we strive to improve the service that we provide. UK Banking complaints reported to the FSA (excluding PPI) fell 30% year on year, but we recognise we have more to do to in this area. We make responsible decisions in how we govern the business and treat our colleagues (see ), and actively manage the social and environmental impacts of what we do. As part of our Climate Action Programme, we have committed to reduce our carbon emissions by 4% by 2013.
Case study: customer satisfaction
We worked to improve customer satisfaction across the business during 2011.
For example, in the UK, our corporate bank ranked first for client satisfaction amongst peers and a division in our wealth management business won ‘Best Customer Experience Award in Financial Services’ in the Customer Experience Awards. Our UK retail bank improved customer satisfaction ranking to fourth amongst peers and received the Which? Award for ‘Positive Change’.
Our role in the communities goes far beyond what we deliver through our core business activities.
The future success of communities and economies is reliant on the next generation having the right skills. We focus on empowering young people with the necessary financial, entrepreneurial and life skills to achieve financial independence and security. In 2011, we invested £63.5m in community programmes which reached over two million people. These activities were supported by 73,000 colleagues who donated their time, skills and money to support community causes.
Case study: empowering young people
Our partnership with Youth Business International (YBI) helps young people start their own businesses and create employment. YBI works with young people to provide access to capital, training, mentoring and other business development services. This benefits 50,000 young entrepreneurs in 34 countries.
Our employees volunteer in a variety of ways, including mentoring and providing professional support.