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diversity, equality and inclusion

The commitments we’ve made around diversity, equality and inclusion are underpinned by our aim of providing an impartial, trusted and respected service. These commitments focus on our service, our customers, our people and our reach.

our service

We want to be recognised as well-run and efficient - and to resolve the complaints people bring to us fairly and as quickly as possible. We work with a number of external partners to ensure that our practices, policies and approaches are relevant for our people and our customers. We’re members of Stonewall, Essential Services Access Network (ESAN), Business in the Community, Employers Forum for Carers, Business Disability Forum, Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES), East London Business Alliance (ELBA), the National Patrons Network, and the Disability Confident Employer.

our customers

We’ll ensure that our service is accessible and doesn’t discriminate against any of our customers. We will share our technical understanding of relevant legislation to support our case considerations. Our decisions will always draw on the themes of fairness and objectivity, and our technical understanding of equality law can be relevant in our customer responses. There’s more information about the diversity and backgrounds of the people who use our service in our annual review.

our people

We want to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of our customers and the population as a whole. We’ll continue to be, and to be seen as, an inclusive employer by ensuring there’s a diverse mix of people at all levels of the organisation - as well as attracting a diverse range of people to work here. To support our aims of building communities and encouraging talent and diversity, we support and champion the following employee networks:

    • carers' group:
      The carers group works to raise awareness about the needs of carers; to provide support to individuals; share information relevant about caring and also influencing the organisation to introduce carer friendly practices and policies.
    • Christian fellowship:
      The Christian fellowship group meets regularly for bible study, prayer, and fellowship. Their meetings are open to anyone who would like to come along; whether they're a Christian, or of another faith, or none.
    • Enable network:
      Enable’s aim is to increase the profile of disability issues while supporting the needs of the ombudsman. The group promotes a culture of inclusion - raising awareness of the value of breaking down the barriers to employment, progression and engagement for those with disabilities.
    • Embrace:
      Embrace exists to raise awareness and educate each other about issues relating to ethnic minority groups. To provide an avenue for support and advice on issues and provide a social forum for the ethnic minority network and all our people.
    • Jewry:
      The Jewish network, Jewry, encourages respectful attitudes and raises awareness of Jewish practices and traditions. They're inclusive - everyone is welcome at their events whether or not they are Jewish.
    • mental wellbeing network:
      The mental wellbeing network is run by and for anyone who is affected directly or indirectly by mental health issues. They support staff who are living with a mental health condition, struggling with their mental wellbeing – or if someone close to them is.
    • Muslim network:
      The Muslim network offers networking opportunities and makes the ombudsman more aware of Muslim colleagues’ needs and practices. The network strengthens inclusion and openness both internally and externally. Whether they’re Muslim or not, everyone is welcome to their events.
    • OutRight the LGBT network:
      OutRight is the ombudsman’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network. They work towards a culture of respect and equality for everyone. They share best practice and help make sure all staff feel comfortable, valued and able to reach their full potential.
    • women's network:
      The women’s network helps promote and develop leadership skills for its members. It also encourages professional networking to improve career opportunities as well as provide support and learning on women’s issues.
    • parenting network:
      The parenting network helps support expecting, new and experienced parents by connecting them with other parents and discussing work related issues, like returning to work after parental leave and flexible working.

more than words

We are committed to being a truly diverse organisation. And in our equality, diversity and inclusion action plan we set out what we are going to be doing over the next year to get there.

In July 2016 we also signed the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter, to show our support to improve gender diversity in financial services. Here at the ombudsman our overall gender diversity between men and women is equal. And we believe the same should be true of our senior management team. By the end of December 2019, we commit to the diversity of our senior management team reflecting our overall gender diversity, with women holding 45-55% of senior management positions.

And in September 2016 we signed up the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Working Forward pledge, to demonstrate our support for pregnancy and maternity rights.

We take these commitments seriously. Diversity is an integral part of our organisation's broader commitments, and how we measure and rate our performance. You can find more details about our equality, diversity and inclusion in our recent report, that gives a snapshot of the service in December 2018.

our reach

We use our giving something back programme and outreach work to raise awareness of our service in under-represented communities - to build confidence in financial services and improve financial inclusion.


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