Ulster Bank - Business In The Community

Ulster Bank

Hear from Ulster Bank about its responsible business practices and why it was shortlisted for the NI Responsible Company of the Year 2017 Award.


It serves its business and personal customers across the Island of Ireland, delivering services through 64 branches, online, via telephone/mobile banking and also through 479 post offices. Its vision is to be No. 1 for customer service, trust and advocacy on the Island of Ireland and its purpose is to serve customers well.

What Ulster Bank did

Ulster Bank demonstrate its responsible business credentials through the programmes, projects and the way it conducts itself when interacting with society.

Supporting customers – The first Northern Ireland bank to sign up to the Age Friendly Charter, demonstrating that its business is inclusive to older customers and ensuring that products/services meet their specific needs. It has trained eight regional Dementia Friendly Community Champions who have supported more than 100 of colleagues to become Dementia Friends, and now have at least one Dementia Friend in every branch. It works to support customers who are in vulnerable situations and are at risk of financial harm through our Community Protection Managers who work with our frontline teams and external stakeholders. Through its ‘Give a Day’ scheme, the bank positively encourages staff to support organisations that they are passionate about, by fundraising, payroll giving or volunteering in their local communities. All staff are entitled to claim an annual £250 Community Cashback Award for a local community organisation/charity they support in their spare time either through fundraising or volunteering. Other activities include: Funding Ireland’s online business portal com; partnering with Dogpatch labs to provide a co-working space for technology start-ups; and partnering with Entrepreneurial Spark (Espark).

Engaging colleagues – For Ulster Bank, this is the cornerstone of being a responsible business and last year it introduced various initiatives to support better work/life balance including: UB Choice Programme’ offering flexible work options including home working; Wellbeing initiatives such as employee health checks and the Global Corporate Challenge getting staff walking/exercising more; Internal employee led networks (Women’s Network and Rainbow Network) offering employees the opportunity to network/develop/enhance their careers; introducing specific role-based development options for our Branch employees through the Let’s Grow Programme providing a defined employee career path; and making the Professional Banking Certificate (an externally recognised professional qualification) available for all staff.

Impacts and Outcomes

  • 222 schools in NI are registered to use MoneySense
  • 800 volunteering hours delivered by staff in 2016
  • £171k raised through One Week In June – supporting cancer charities
  • Skills & Opportunities Fund funding of £150k to eight not-for-profit organisations
  • More than 100 Dementia Friends and eight Community Champions
  • More than 150 staff have completed CPR training
  • 80% of customers were extremely satisfied with branch and telephony services
  • Enabled 80 entrepreneurs to take part in start-up programmes in Belfast

For more information, email Jill.smyth@ulsterbank.com