5 minute read

Keeping the plates spinning on the largest digital transformation of its kind in the UK would be enough for most Digital Leaders, but for Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, who led the Group Digital Division at Lloyds Banking Group, it’s only part of the story. Miguel has now left Lloyds Banking Group and has been replaced by Zak Mian who was previously Digital and End-To-End Transformation Director.

Lloyds Banking Group has the largest digital banking franchise in the UK with over 12 million active online customers, 7 million mobile customers and where 55% of all accounts opened are completed online. Between 2015 and 2107 Lloyds is investing £1bn in transforming key customer journeys end to end, delivering customer-centric digital propositions and building its digital capability.

With a business of this size comes responsibility and there has been a concentrated effort to give back to the communities the bank serves by delivering on the Group’s digital inclusion strategy.

Lloyds Digital_office_125

Lloyds Banking Group Digital Hub, Chiswell Street in London

“I’ve always been passionate about helping people realise their life goals through understanding and utilising their finances.” Miguel’s passion for customers has burned brightly for over 29 years, since he started his banking career as a cashier in Spain, his homeland.

“In today’s world it’s becoming more apparent that financial inclusion and digital inclusion are linked – something we’ve seen in the results of the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index.”

The Consumer Digital Index, launched at the start of 2016, was the first report of its kind to benchmark the digital and financial capability of UK consumers. It found that 13.1 million people in the UK had low financial capability and 11.1 million had low digital capability. It also found that people were missing out on an average of £744 in annual savings by not being online and shopping around for the best deals.

“Having basic digital skills is one of the ways that people can feel more on top of their finances, with 86% of people saying that managing their money online makes them worry less because they can track their finances. We can make a huge difference by helping more people improve their digital skills – whether that’s using digital to improve their finances, staying in touch with family and friends or writing a CV. The impact should not be underestimated, having digital skills can be life changing for some.”

Lloyds Banking Group’s Digital division has also invested in partnering with a number of other like-minded organisations to have a greater impact on increasing inclusion, “We are delighted to be a Principal Partner of Doteveryone, alongside other partners such as BT and Google. Amongst other things, the partnership helps us have a broader reach to help the 12.6 million people, and over one million organisations, currently lacking basic digital skills. One of the ways we’re making a real difference in this area is by committing that, by 2017, we’ll have 20,000 Digital Champions from Lloyds Banking Group helping people and organisations to improve their digital skills and financial capability.”

MARS Doteveryone Hub Glass

Miguel recognises that this progress couldn’t be made without the support of the Tinder Foundation which has been instrumental in helping Lloyds Banking Group to train its Digital Champions and source opportunities for them to volunteer in communities.

Currently the Group has over 11,000 Digital Champions that are actively engaging with the communities they serve. This includes over 2,000 Halifax Digital Champions that have recently teamed up with the Society of Chief Librarians to create a ‘first of its kind’ partnership aimed at helping the almost six million adults in the UK who have never used the internet to get online. The Halifax colleagues are available to boost the support of IT taster sessions run by the libraries.

It’s clear to see Miguel’s enthusiasm for the scheme, “We are delighted to be partnering with the libraries. Working together we have the opportunity to make a real difference in helping people realise the benefits of digital and it’s great that we have such a tangible way for our Champions to provide support for local people.”

On a personal note, Miguel has also volunteered his time to push the inclusion agenda. He spent a day out of the office volunteering to support four charities from Croydon and Lewisham to boost their online abilities and improve how they support local people. The Group knows, from the Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index, that there remains an untapped potential for charities to benefit from the difference basic digital skills can make to their organisations. 30% of small organisations in the UK are without basic digital skills, impacting their communications and ability to make and receive payments online, amongst other things.

Miguel ran masterclasses to help representatives from Kinetic Foundation, Good Food Matters, Action for Refugees in Lewisham, and Lewisham Refugees & Migrant Network. By enhancing each of the charities’ digital capabilities and giving them new tools to help those in need, thousands of the capital’s most vulnerable individuals could benefit directly.

“I really enjoyed volunteering to enhance the charities digital skills and enable those organisations to help people who need it most. By the end of the session I was delighted that the charities felt even more empowered to help people and make a difference to those in need. It’s these moments, where you get to see the impact digital can have for yourself that make it all worth it.”

But Rome wasn’t built in a day and Miguel acknowledges that there’s still more to be done.

“I hope our collective focus on improving digital skills throughout the UK will, step-by-step, click-by-click, see more of the UK digitally included and consumers taking advantage of what this brings.”

To understand more about Miguel’s views on how Lloyds Banking Group is shaping the way Britain banks, please take a look at this video that Miguel presented at the recent Telegraph Digital Leaders event.

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