Employee Engagement

Black workers at Lloyds Bank are paid a fifth less than their white colleagues, the company has disclosed. The discrepancy is because they “are disproportionately under-represented at senior levels” the bank said. Black staff make up 1.5% of Lloyds’ total workforce and 0.6% of its senior management.

“That’s not good enough – which is why we have resolved to take action,” said the bank’s chief executive António Horta-Osório.

Lloyds has pledged to increase the number of black staff in senior roles to at least 3% by 2025 to bring it into line with the black population in England and Wales. Lloyds is the first major UK bank to reveal its ethnicity pay gap.

Its figures, which were compiled in April, showed the median pay gap between black staff and their colleagues was 19.7%, while the bonus gap stood at 37.6%. Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers account for 10.3% of all staff at Lloyds, and 7.3% of senior management.

The median pay gap between BAME staff and colleagues was 14.8%, while the bonus pay gap stood at 32.5%. For Asian employees, the median pay gap stood at 25.7% and the bonus pay gap at 34.2%.

“These figures serve as a wake-up call that we must do better. No excuses,” said Fiona Cannon, director of group sustainable business at Lloyds. “They highlight the urgent need for us to increase representation at senior grades, which will not only improve our ethnicity pay gap, but also make us better colleagues, better employers and a better bank.”

Alongside the publication of its first Ethnicity Pay Gap Report as part of its part of its Race Action Plan, Lloyds launched a black business advisory committee. It will be led by former Cabinet Office adviser and social entrepreneur Claudine Reid MBE to investigate the barriers to growth for the black business community.

“Disappointingly, the number of Black FTSE 100 chief executives, chief financial officers or chairs has fallen to 0.7%,” said Ms Reid. “I’ve taken on this role to help the UK’s largest financial services group on its journey of change and transformation.”

Mr Horta-Osório, who will step down from his role as chief executive next year, said: “We want to be clear that we are an anti-racist organisation – one where all employees speak up, challenge, and act to take an active stance against racism. In doing so, our colleagues will help break down the barriers preventing people from meeting their full potential.”

Financial services union Accord, said; “The harsh reality is that race still plays a significant role in determining pay and career progression. “The problem isn’t going to magic itself away but we stand ready to work with employers on practical steps to tackle inequality and discrimination in the workplace in a meaningful and enduring way.”

It said Lloyds should be “commended” for publishing the information. “Other companies should do so too and government needs to step up too by introducing mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting as a first step,” it added.

Most minority ethnic groups earned less on average than white British people in 2019, according to official figures published by the Office for National Statistics. The median hourly pay gap was worse for Pakistanis at 16%, while it stood at 15% for Bangladeshis and African workers. However, the median hourly pay gap between ethnic minorities and white British workers stood at 2.3%, its narrowest level since 2012, after having risen to 8.4% in 2014.

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