In its Helping Britain Prosper Plan, the FTSE 100 firm pledges to address issues such as the housing shortage, sustainable business growth and social disadvantage.

The 2020 mission includes goals to train 1.8 million people, SMEs and charities in digital skills, and increase the amount of net-lending to start-up, SME and mid-market businesses by £6bn.

Lloyds also aims to have 40% of senior roles held by women and 10% of all roles held by black, asian and minority (BAME) colleagues. It will look to tackle disadvantage across the UK by supporting 7,500 charities through the group’s independent charitable foundations.

“As a UK focused retail and commercial bank, we are inextricably linked to the British economy,” said António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Group. “Our success is the British economy’s success and we are fully committed to help people, businesses and communities in Britain prosper.”

Lloyds still has a long way to go before it can be considered a leader in green banking. Research published in December placed Lloyds in the bottom five of a table which ranked the top 15 largest European banks on disclosure and management of climate-related impacts and opportunities.

Despite performing poorly in the rankings, Lloyds is still making an effort to capture green markets. Lloyds has launched a £1bn fund to help real estate owners improve the energy efficiency ratings of their buildings. The bank claims that up to 100,000 tonnes of carbon could be saved over the lifetime of the fund – equivalent to the output of more than 22,000 homes.

Climate shortcomings

On a broader level, there are concerns that the shortcomings of global banks on climate action could undermine efforts to achieve a 2C world. This was the conclusion of a damning report released earlier this month, which backed by more than 100 investors worth almost $2trn in assets.

The UK’s high street banks are still profiting from some of the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel projects despite committing to deliver the Paris Agreement goals of limiting global warming to below 2C.

Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS have barely changed their lending policies or actions in the two years since the deal was signed, according to a previous report from charity organisation Christian Aid.

George Ogleby

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