An HR scheme by Halifax has significantly increased its proportion of ethnic minority staff in multi-cultural areas.
The bank set up targeted ethnic minority recruitment schemes in three Yorkshire branches to make the workforce better reflect the customer base.
In the Keighley branch, the scheme trebled the proportion of its ethnic minority staff. The bank set up a local race working party, which enabled managers to meet with local community organisations and raise the profile of the bank. It also tailored advertisements specifically to ethnic minorities and recruited locally.
The number of ethnic minority staff has increased from 8.7 per cent to 25 per cent in one year.
Tyrone Jones, equal opportunities adviser at the Halifax, said, "The working parties were set up to ensure our staff reflect the community they serve. Equal opportunities also makes good business sense. People do business with like people, and ethnic minority spending power is estimated at about £15bn."
The bank has rolled out race working parties in Bradford and Halifax, and plans to set up another in Manchester for the Chinese community.
The race working parties is one part of the bank's diversity strategy, which has the backing of the board of directors.
Halifax employs 38,000 staff and has about 800 branches.