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Lloyds Banking Group adopts Day 21 of Ethics Month

 

Since its foundation in 1765, Lloyds Bank has been serving the households, businesses and communities of Britain. And, in 2015 we celebrated 250 years of helping the people of Britain with the things that matter most to them. Over that time the world, and with it the world of business, has changed exponentially.

Traditional Corporate Responsibility, the ‘Ministry of Good Works’ in the corner, the one that issues the oversized cheques for chairmen to sign, is no longer fit for purpose. Like the fax machine, it quietly passed away some time ago, without many organisations noticing or even caring. We shouldn’t mourn its passing.

While raising money for good causes is rightly expected of all companies, it is no longer sufficient and it certainly doesn’t "buy” a licence to trade if the fundamental mind set and behaviour of an organisation are not inherently "responsible”.

Some companies, such as Lloyds Banking Group, have recognised, that, as society and its expectations change so we need a radically different approach, a broader purpose beyond customer service and profitability. We need colleagues who drive and deliver that purpose through demonstrating our company values: keeping it simple, making a difference together and putting customers first. These values must be core to everything we do.

It is essential that the broader purpose should not be divorced from the primary economic purpose. That broader purpose is not philanthropy. A business is, after all, a business. Its broader purpose must therefore enhance that commercial purpose and not detract from it. The social responsibility of a business should not therefore be the price it pays to function.

Our social purpose is rightly rooted in addressing the UK’s changing social and economic challenges. So, when we refer to Helping Britain Prosper we mean how we focus our skill and scale to make the UK economy more productive, more agile and smarter.

A more prosperous Britain is unashamedly not only good for Britain, but is also good for Lloyds. That is why the Group’s Helping Britain Prosper Plan aligns our commercial goals with the broader needs and ambitions of the UK. If the UK is able to harness the talent and energy of its increasingly diverse population, the entire country becomes more prosperous and this will benefit us.

For this reason we are now working in partnership with our four regional charitable foundations. Over the last 30 years, they have invested almost £600m of our funds into programmes designed to tackle social disadvantage. By offering both financial and practical support the Foundations are able to deliver lasting positive change.

Additionally, by focusing on skills-based volunteering our colleagues are able to mentor some of those charities supported by the foundations to make them more resilient at a time when traditional sources of income are proving harder to find. This is a true example of colleagues making a difference together.

This is what we mean by Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking Group, an ambition to be relevant to both the challenges and opportunities that face our country. And an ambition that every colleague knows how they are helping Britain prosper.


Damian Leeson

Director, Group Responsible Business
Damian is Director of Responsible Business at Lloyds Banking PLC...

30 Days Of Ethics

The culmination of the 30th Anniversary celebrations is Ethics Month - 30 days of celebrating ethical values and making them real in the workplace.

Each day throughout November will be given over to a different ethical value.

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