Lloyds takes Pole position
High street bank Lloyds-TSB will be the first to cater specifically for the UK’s Polish population, offering specialist services through some of its branches to the thousands of migrant workers who have come to the UK since 2004.
Bilingual English/Polish-speaking staff will man these ‘international finance superstores’ , signs will be in both languages, as will bank forms and product brochures.
Poles looking to open an account with Lloyds TSB will be directed to a specialist branch, where they will simply have to present their passport or EU identity card.
A utility bill showing proof of address is usually required to open a UK bank account, but as many Polish workers will be newly-arrived and may not have such a bill, Lloyds will waive this stipulation.
Over quarter of a million Poles have entered the UK legally since January 1st 2004, when Poland became a member of the EU. Many have plugged gaps in the market for skilled tradespeople such as builders and plumbers.
Stuart Rumney, director for the bank in Manchester said: “Our new European Retail branch will really help to take the fear factor out of opening a bank account for customers new to the UK. “There is a clear demand for a tailored banking service and to meet this demand we have been adapting our procedures.” In particular we have focused on making the account opening process as straightforward as possible for all our customers.”