TSB returned to UK high streets in 2013 with a clear mission: to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all consumers.

It was a unique opportunity to start afresh and do things differently and from day one we recognised that building the right culture would be key to our success.

So we set out to build a bank that lives and breathes a different, inclusive culture.  Where everyone working for us is a Partner in our business and is treated as such.

Because inclusive cultures make people feel valued, and when people feel valued, they add value to our business and make a positive difference for our customers.   And by having people from different backgrounds and cultures, we get different perspectives on how we can better understand and serve our customers; providing great banking to more people.

To help embed this culture we created affinity groups to meet the different needs of our Partners which are led by our senior business leaders. The groups are open to everyone so that everyone has the opportunity to get involved in the areas of diversity that they are particularly passionate about.

Our LGBT affinity group is led by Peter Markey, who is our Marketing Director. Since joining TSB in June 2017, Peter has already implemented an extensive range of initiatives to signal the importance of LGBT inclusion to all of our employees.

From developing a Trans Guide that was distributed throughout the business to elevate the issue of gender identity and dispel misconceptions and myths, to distributing rainbow lanyards to all TSB employees as a clear outward signal of our support for the LGBT community – Peter has already made a significant impact.

But Peter hasn’t just focused on promoting the LGBT internally, he’s also pushed to normalise LGBT relationships in TSB’s external communications, ensuring LGBT characters feature prominently in TSB’s marketing and that same sex couples, both male and female, have been used across all communications touch points.

As such Peter was the driving force behind TSB’s collaboration with Guardian Labs, creating relationship-focused content for Valentine’s Day 2018. The centrepiece video, which has received over 250,000 views online, prominently features a lesbian couple in a candid look at real-life relationships.

TSB has also partnered with OUTstanding to give its Partners the opportunity to be mentored by inspirational LGBT leaders and allies from other organisations – and vice versa.

So in fewer than five years since TSB’s launch, do we think our focus on building the right inclusive culture worked?  We believe it has.  Not only have we been recognised as Britain’s most recommended high street bank, we have also been named by the Sunday Times as one of the “Top 5 Best Big Companies to Work for”.  Making TSB the only bank to be included in the top ten best big companies to work for.  And we believe that it’s our culture that is the driving force behind our success.