As announced at the 2020 NextGeneration Results, I am delighted and honoured that myself and my colleague David Willock, MD & Head of ESG Finance and Structuring, Corporate & Institutional Coverage, have joined the Executive Committee and will represent Lloyds Bank. Joining the Executive Committee and supporting NextGeneration’s initiatives feels like a natural step for the bank, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group and has deep, long-standing involvement with the housing sector. Lloyds Banking Group is the largest lender to the housing sector, including providing almost £40bn of mortgages to first-time buyers since 2018. Meanwhile our commercial division is amongst the largest lenders to the housebuilding sector and has provided more than £9bn of finance to social housing providers since 2018. The Group’s pensions and investments division, Scottish Widows, has housing and social housing as a key investment focus and has invested £3.5bn in social housing, as it delivers a safe, long-term source of income to meet its customer annuity payments. The Group also directly supports the building of new homes through the Housing Growth Partnership, a joint venture with Homes England that specialises in supporting SME builders and has helped build more than 3,500 new homes since 2016.
Our proud support for all things housing-related has been strengthened further, with our recently announced new strategy, including a number of commitments designed to help Britain recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. One of these commitments is to support the creation of a national sustainability standard for house building finance and joining this Executive Committee represents a key milestone in that aim. Having promoted sustainability in the UK housebuilding industry for over 15 years, we consider NextGeneration to be an ideal partner in Lloyds’ drive for positive change in the sector. Joining the Executive Committee also reflects the value that the we place on Sustainability (ESG report 2020) and our ongoing commitments to support the transition to a sustainable, low carbon economy, including pledges to ensure that our own operations are net zero and also to halve the carbon emissions we finance by 2030.
I, alongside the rest of the Lloyds team, am really excited by the opportunity to combine our housing and sustainability expertise and commitment to the sector with that of Homes England, UKGBC and JLL. We are all looking forward to working with the Committee and NextGeneration’s Members to continue to drive increased transparency and improved sustainability performance in the homebuilding sector.