People are at the heart of what we do here at Eligible. Customer-focused service that adds real value to everyday lives is why we exist. In the current economic climate, we thought we’d take some time to appreciate the providers emerging from the gloom to make life a little easier. Here are our favourite banking initiatives from 2023 so far:
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1. Lloyds Smart Start
As part of their long-term strategy to create a more inclusive future, Lloyds Bank have launched the Smart Start account for 11-15 year olds. With a current account, a contactless debit card, and an easy-access savings account, this initiative aims to grow a more financially literate youth, empowering effective money management right from the start.
2. HSBC's 'No Fixed Address'
To support the financial health of people and communities during the cost-of-living crisis, HSBC and Shelter have announced a multi-year partnership. The initiative “aims to help break the vicious cycle of homelessness in the UK” by providing bank accounts to people with no fixed address. James Allen at Shelter has described it as a game-changing service, offering people the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
3. Santander & Unibeez
Santander reports that around 70% of UK businesses lack the skills needed to grow over the next three years. As part of an initiative to tackle the problem, they’ve partnered with Unibeez, an AI platform designed to connect university students and graduates with companies that need their skills. Alongside these connections, the platform also boasts the ability to eradicate hiring bias, promoting more diverse recruitment across the UK.
Santander customers will enjoy access to Unibeez at a discounted rate for everything from apprenticeships to permanent positions.
4. Nationwide's Supermarket Cashback
From February to April this year, Nationwide gave £100 million in cashback back to members on their grocery shopping to help with the rising cost of living.
Anyone purchasing from selected supermarkets using their Nationwide debit card was eligible for the scheme, and customers can expect to have their cashback paid, hassle-free, by 12th June.
5. NatWest's Sustainable Farming
NatWest is committed to sustainable banking, working with a clear purpose and mission statement. In a new initiative designed to nurture this ethic from the ground up, NatWest has teamed up with McCain to support farmers trying to adopt sustainable agricultural practices.
The first-of-its-kind partnership aims to remove financial barriers to sustainable farming, like up-front investment in new equipment.
6. The Co-operative Bank & Shelter
Alongside the partnership with HSBC, Shelter has also teamed up with The Co-operative Bank to campaign for a fairer private renting system. Seeking to end unfair evictions and unsafe housing, the initiative wants stronger rights for renters and more robust protections for 900,000 people UK-wide at risk of losing their homes.
7. Lloyds Bank & Crisis
Lloyds have a second entry on our list thanks to their new partnership with the homeless charity, Crisis. Together they are calling for 1 million new and genuinely affordable homes to be built for people on the lowest incomes. Since 2018, Lloyds have raised £15 billion for social housing. In addition, their new fundraising efforts will be helping to support the UK’s first not-for-profit letting agency. It’s designed to help people out of homelessness by removing the requirements for upfront rent and strict reference requests.
8. RBS & Digital Boost
Supporting women in business is The Royal Bank of Scotland‘s mission this year. They’re teaming up with Digital Boost after reports UK-wide suggest female entrepreneurs are struggling to get the support they need. With Digital Boost, RBS is launching MentorMatch, a platform connecting mentors and mentees in a less formal setting. They aim to close the gap for women business owners; facilitating knowledge exchange and providing much-needed guidance.
9. TSB & Hussle
The gym market place, Hussle, gives customers access to 100s of gyms, spas, swimming pools and fitness classes. This is all without the commitment of a monthly membership.
As part of this initiative, TSB customers get 33% of the price of Hussle, supporting them to make the changes they want to without breaking the bank.
10. Atom Bank and the 4 Day Working Week
This one’s not strictly a banking initiative but it is person-focused and worth celebrating. At the end of 2022, Atom Bank announced that after a successful trial period, they would be making the 4-day working week permanent for its 430 employees. Describing it as “one of the most transformative” things the company had ever done, they have met business targets, achieved a happier, healthier workforce, and report that customer service metrics have never been higher.