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Lloyds superstore tackles migrant exclusion

16 January 2007
Lloyds has announced the launch of a dedicated 'superstore' for international customers in Manchester to give people arriving in the UK for the first time a stress-free transition to UK banking.

The new superstore targets Polish customers, providing fluent Polish speakers in customer service positions and Polish-language account opening forms and brochures.

Amid concerns that financial exclusion can disproportionately affect new migrant populations, Lloyds TSB recently simplified its identification requirements so that new customers now have to provide only one form of photo identification – previous regulations required new customers to supply utility bills giving proof of address.

The new banking system aims to "take the fear factor out of opening a bank account for customers new to the UK," said Lloyds TSB transaction banking director Gerrard Schmid.

Lloyds' move coincides with the launch of a tailor-made Polish-language Welcome Account from rival NatWest, which includes online and telephone banking offerings.

Meanwhile, the Treasury is preparing to launch a financial capability taskforce headed by Otto Thoresen, chief executive of Aegon UK, today.

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