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05 Oct 2021

Our commitments to racial equality – one year on

We’ve published the first anniversary report of our racial equality commitments, setting out the progress made on our 10 commitments to colleagues, customers and communities.

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, set out ten commitments from NatWest Group designed to make meaningful, positive change.

Today we’ve published the first anniversary report outlining progress made on our commitments one year on. Building on our focus since 2015 to create a more inclusive and diverse culture, these commitments have helped us intensify the focus and accelerate progress.

The first anniversary report sets out the actions we’ve taken, such as: 

  • Renewed focus on unbiased and fair recruitment with initiatives like our ‘Recruitment Yes Check’ which is helping us to meet and exceed targets in Early Careers
  • Championing colleague potential through learning and development
  • The launch of CareerSense to help youth employability with a specific focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic young people 
  • Our Enterprise teams are exceeding their target for supporting Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic-led businesses via Business Accelerators and other financing, advisory and growth support 
  • Undertaking industry first research on financial inclusion and support for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic personal customers and enterprises, including partnerships with Fair4All Finance and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) at Aston University 
  • Amplifying diverse voices and faces in our marketing and communications 

We have also re-established our Ethnicity Advisory Council, made up of diversity and inclusion leaders and specialists, to provide critical challenge, guidance and direction on our ethnicity and inclusion strategy.

Read our full Racial Equality Anniversary Report (PDF 3.9MB) which outlines progress made so far on each of our commitments.

Racial Equality Taskforce co-leads Shamraz Begum, Yinka Fadina and Samuel Okafor, said:  

“Since forming the taskforce in June 2020, we have been relentless in our drive for progress. We’d like to recognise the many colleagues across the bank who have contributed to the efforts described in this report and thank them for their continued support. The last twelve months have shown us that it takes constant focus to change culture, re-shape systems and embed new ways of doing things. But we believe in this work more than ever, and we’re actively seeking solutions to help us meet our targets, solutions that benefit everyone, no matter our gender, sexuality, ability or disability.”

CEO Alison Rose said:

“Last year, we established the Racial Equality Taskforce to listen, learn and better understand the extra barriers faced by colleagues, customers and communities from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, and to lead the work of addressing those issues. One year on, I am incredibly proud of the progress that we are making and remain committed to building a positive and inclusive culture. It’s our collective responsibility to build on that momentum, working as one bank to create long-lasting change. At our best, we are an open, inclusive, progressive organisation, but until that is everyone's experience, every time, we have more to do.”

Co-sponsors of the Racial Equality Taskforce, Nigel Prideaux (Chief Communications Officer) and Simon McNamara (Chief Administration Officer), said:  

“It’s not only an honour to sponsor the taskforce – it’s an accountability we take very seriously. This year we re-established our Ethnicity Advisory Council whose guidance and challenge ensures we are accountable to our goals. Through our targets and racial equality commitments, we will make a meaningful, positive impact for our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues and customers, and the communities we serve, to champion their potential.” 

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