LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Nov. 20, 2012) - Underscoring its commitment to invest in the long-term economic future of the UK and give back to the communities in which it serves, Lloyds Banking Group welcomed its latest cohort of 90 students to the award-winning Lloyds Scholars Programme. The welcome event marks the occasion of a further four universities opening their doors to the successful scheme during this academic term.
The Group invested £1.6m in the programme during 2012, and has announced its commitment to further expand the programme.
Commenting, António Horta-Osório, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, said: "When we launched the Lloyds Scholars pilot last year we gave a commitment to grow the programme and expand to more of the UK's top universities. Now we are celebrating an award-winning programme and the expansion of the Lloyds Scholars Programme by welcoming a further 90 scholars this term as they join some of the very best universities in Britain."
Chief Executive Challenge
Scholars propose new financial products for their peer group
During the event, hosted by António Horta-Osório and attended by new and existing Scholars, António Horta-Osório commended existing Scholars for their responses to the 'Chief Executive's Challenge', where students were tasked with reviewing the current support packages and products available to students, and asked to build a viable proposal to help the Group further attract and retain student customers within the UK. The winning two proposals see those Scholars pick up an award of £2,000 upon graduation.
Speaking about the Challenge, António Horta-Osório said: "We have developed the programme to give undergraduates all-round professional and vocational experience. We wanted to provide a challenge that would focus students on our customers while delivering a viable business proposition. This exercise has helped the Scholars understand our business ambition and has produced some exceptional results."
Independent research underscores the success of the Lloyds Scholars Programme
Whilst the majority of Scholars confirmed their initial attraction to joining the Lloyds Scholars Programme was the financial support provided, more than 50% now think the other benefits are much more important.
More than 80% of Scholars think the programme will help them improve their future employability.
Almost 80% say they are benefitting from the opportunity to learn new skills and experiences.
Piloted last year with Bristol University and Sheffield University, the programme has this year expanded to six universities and now also includes, UCL, Edinburgh, Oxford and Warwick, allowing Lloyds Banking Group to increase the support it provides from 30 to 120 students.
Notes to Editors:
About Lloyds Banking Group
Lloyds Banking Group is the largest financial services investor in UK communities, investing over £85m in 2011, it has committed to funding at this level again in 2012. Lloyds Banking Group holds the Business in the Community's CommunityMark, the national standard that publicly recognises excellence in community investment. It is also the only bank listed as a Platinum Company in Business in the Community's Corporate Responsibility Index.
Driven by its desire to give back to the communities in which it operates, the Group supports a wide range of ground breaking programmes including The Lloyds Banking Group Community Fund, Lloyds Scholars and Money for Life. The Group believes that giving back to communities is not simply a measure of its success; it also believes this is an important measure of what the Group stands for.
About Lloyds Scholars
Lloyds Scholars offers young people from lower income households a unique combination of financial support, paid work experience and the opportunity to develop their employability skills. Unlike many established bursary programmes, scholars are not bound to join the Group once their studies have completed.
The flagship programme underlines the Group's commitment to supporting UK communities. In return Lloyds Scholars will be required to volunteer a minimum of 100 hours in the local community and act as champions to future generations in schools.