LONDON (Reuters) – Lloyds Banking Group will increase the representation of ethnic minorities in its senior management to 8 percent, becoming the first FTSE 100 company to set a public target for this, it said on Monday.
Currently 5.6 percent of the bank’s senior management and 8.3 percent of its entire workforce are from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. The bank said this did not reflect its customer base, of which 10 percent are from a BAME background.
“Our data shows that while we are making good progress, we think this rate of progress is too slow, so we are committing to bring change sooner,” said Fiona Cannon, director of responsible business and inclusion at the bank.
The announcement comes as part of a three-year strategy due to be laid out alongside the bank’s annual results next week and follows criticism of some of Britain’s largest companies for being opaque around the ethnic and gender diversity of their staff.
In a report last November, the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association said only 15 percent of FTSE 100 companies provided details of the ethnic diversity of their workforce.
Twelve percent of the UK labor force and 14 percent of the total population are from a BAME background.
The Lloyds announcement was first reported by Sky News on Sunday. Its report said that Lloyds’ upcoming strategy update would include an investment program costing roughly 2.6 billion pounds and potentially as much as 3 billion.
The strategy is expected to concentrate on digital innovation, but could also include a renewed push to ramp up the bank’s insurance and wealth businesses.
Reporting by Emma Rumney; Editing by Kirsten Donovan