06 May 2021
Our commitments to racial equality – 6 months on
In October 2020 we published a report on racial equality and set out commitments to support our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic customers, colleagues and communities. Here’s an update on progress so far.
Last year a colleague-led Taskforce established by CEO Alison Rose led on a report on racial equality for our customers, colleagues and communities. The report, Banking on Racial Equality: A Roadmap for Positive Change (PDF 3MB), set out ten commitments from NatWest Group designed to make meaningful, positive change.
Today we’re publishing an interim report outlining progress made on our commitments in the first six months. Building on our focus over the past five years to create a more inclusive and diverse culture, these commitments have helped us intensify the focus and accelerate progress.
Action we’ve taken on our commitments so far include:
- Ensuring frontline colleagues don’t have to tolerate racial discrimination – we’re strengthening our current account and savings terms and conditions to expressly include that any racist or other discriminatory conduct towards our staff is a reason to allow us to close an account.
- Leading on disclosures – we’ve enhanced our ethnicity pay gap reporting (PDF 70KB) to provide more detail, including the percentage of colleagues receiving a bonus and representation by pay quartile.
- Continuing our support of UK business - we’ve set a target of minimum of 20% of our enterprise programmes to be with Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic-owned businesses.
- Removing barriers to financial capability - we’re using insight from external research and from colleagues with first-hand experience of the barriers our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic customers experience, to identify opportunities to improve our existing financial capability offering.
- Industry-first research - we’re researching the role ethnicity plays in people’s financial lives - highlighting differences in the use of some retail products and services by ethnicity; this will help us to further investigate our customers’ needs and better address them. We’re also partnering with the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University, to highlight barriers faced by ethnic minority-led firms.
- Diverse and sustainable suppliers - our Supplier Charter (PDF 176KB) (updated on September 2022) sets out our aims and expectations regarding our suppliers’ diversity and inclusion, ethical business conduct, human rights and environmental sustainability. It also outlines our own commitments in these key areas and the outcomes we can achieve by working together.
Read our full Racial Equality Interim Report (PDF 1.2MB) which outlines progress made so far on each of our ten commitments.
Racial Equality Taskforce co-leads Shamraz Begum, Yinka Fadina and Samuel Okafor, said: "We're delighted to continue to lead this pan-bank effort to accelerate NatWest Group's progress towards being ethnically diverse, for colleagues, customers and communities. We're constantly impressed with the ingenuity of our colleagues, and the initiative taken by businesses and functions to make change happen."
CEO Alison Rose, said: “The work of our Racial Equality Taskforce has showed that while we have a record to be proud of, there is indeed more we could do to champion the potential of our customers, colleagues and communities of all cultures and ethnicities. I'm excited about the energy within the organisation to deliver change and heartened by the progress being made. Together with colleagues across the bank, and industry and community partners, we will continue improving our understanding and support.”