Lloyds creates new sustainability role amid branch closures

People walking past a retail branch of Lloyds Bank.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Khadija Ali as Group Director, Sustainability and Responsible Business and announced planned closures of its branches. 

As part of the newly created role, Ali will spearhead the Group’s Social and Environmental Sustainability teams and will report to the Group’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Andrew Walton.

Additionally, Ali will be tasked with strengthening and leading the delivery of the Group’s sustainability strategy, working across the business to further integrate sustainability outcomes into business priorities. This will all contribute towards the Group’s overarching goals of achieving net zero and building a more sustainable and inclusive society.

Prior to joining Lloyds, Ali worked at EY where she led the UK Climate Change and Sustainability Services practice and advised global financial institutions on sustainability-focused strategic initiatives, such as target setting, climate transition planning, commercial strategy and responsible business.

Walton remarked: “We are delighted that Khadija has joined us as our Group Director of Sustainability and Responsibility. I’m confident that her leadership will help us to push the pace and ambition of our delivery, progressing our strategy and working towards our net zero commitments”.

Lloyds has also announced that Ali and Walton will both join the Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) Steering Group, following a recent member election. Both employees will be responsible for collaborating with industry peers on the delivery of the NZBA’s global commitments to help accelerate the journey to net zero by 2050, or sooner.

Ali commented: “It’s a privilege to join Lloyds Banking Group and I’m excited to work for an organisation that is committed to using its scale and influence to drive lasting change. Mobilising finance is key to transitioning to a more sustainable future. I’m looking forward to progressing the Group’s ambitious strategy and maximising opportunities for growth as part of the Group’s purpose to help Britain prosper.”

These new appointments follow news that Lloyds is planning 60 new branch closures for the remainder of the year and 2025. Lloyds isn’t alone, as Halifax and Bank of Scotland earmarked 190 branches for closure in 2024 and 47 next year.

Giving a reason for the closures, Lloyds Group says use of the latest 60 branches set for closure had fallen by an average of 52% in the last five years, as more customers chose to manage their money online or via apps.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson said: “Mobile banking is more popular than ever, with over 19 million customers choosing our app to manage their money. Alongside our app, customers can bank online, over the phone, at a Banking Hub, a Post Office or by speaking to one of our Community Bankers.”

In May, TSB Bank also announced its plans to close down 36 of its branches across the UK, cutting 250 jobs in the process and further reducing the size of the British retail banking sector.