We want to be economically and socially useful by helping our customers achieve financial security and by improving the lives of people in wider society who may not have enough financial resources to own our products.
Acting responsibly touches our business in every way and means that we:
- Seek to provide our customers with good value, fair and transparent products that help them protect their loved ones or enable them to save for their future happiness
- Aim to improve the lives of customers and people in wider society through our campaigns for housing, health and wellbeing and dignity in later life
- Ensure that the companies where our customers’ money is invested behave responsibly and ethically
- Help society through paying our tax responsibly
- Ensure that we are environmentally sustainable and that we act ethically towards our employees and business partners
For further details on how we carry out our commitments to broader society, please read our corporate and social responsibility report.
What we have done
We protect the homes of 1.7 million customers with housing related life or general insurance products. We also arranged £40 billion of new mortgages. There’s a huge shortage of homes so we use our slow investment money to finance the building of all types of homes: social housing; private rented; owner occupied. We work closely with Shelter to press for more UK homebuilding, helping them achieve second place in the prestigious ‘Wolfson Economics Prize’.
New homes to be built, following £252 million investment into ‘Places for People’
Over five million people rely on Legal & General for life insurance either through their employer or their own policy. Our commitment extends to our campaigns to promote the physical and mental wellbeing of our communities. We’ve been active with mental health charities such as ‘Re-Think’ and have introduced cognitive behaviour therapy to help employees in our protection schemes recover from stress.
Amounts paid in death claims
Income in retirement
We’re helping over 1.2 million people save for retirement in workplace pension schemes and over one million customers rely on us for lifetime pension income. We also work with organisations such as the Elderly Accommodation Counsel and Age UK to improve the lives of retired people. We’ve also been active in investing in care homes, with around £220 million put into care homes to date.
We’re committed to all forms of diversity and want to see greater equality of opportunity to further the careers of our employees. We also want to ensure that our Board reflects diversity of background and management skills. Gender diversity is a key issue, where we’re committed to help talented women progress their careers. Our 50/50 by 2020 network raises awareness of gender diversity and is a fairness test to help us check our progress to a more balanced workforce in 2020. This especially means supporting women both before and after maternity leave to help them drive their careers forward into senior management roles.
We’re one of the ‘Sunday Times’ 25 Best Big Companies to Work for’, having received recognition in February 2014, reaching 19th position in their Top 25 listing. In 2014 our worldwide employee engagement index stood at 77%. This index measures the level of employee commitment to our goals and success. We surveyed all worldwide employees for the first time, including our Indian joint venture, IndiaFirst.
Our ‘Wellbeing’ campaign continued in 2014 with our employees being motivated to understand the importance of healthy choices in their own lives and to help improve the health of our communities.
Our UK employees participated in charitable work, making donations through our matching schemes, including Give As You Earn. In 2014 during work time, our employees contributed over 2,000 volunteering days to community and charity projects and donated over £3 million to community investment campaigns.
We are a services based business and use natural resources to run our business. Our Group Environment Committee is responsible for managing our views on climate change and managing environmental impacts across the group.
Our strategy is to build resilience and do more each year to use fewer natural resources. Our key commitments are to:
1. Reduce carbon dioxide emissions
2. Reduce waste
3. Reduce paper consumption
4. Reduce energy usage in our property investments
Our CSR report has further detail of our commitments and our achievements.
Our commitment as an ‘Active Investor’ to raising standards of corporate governance
As one of Europe’s largest institutional asset managers and a major global investor we’re committed to ensuring that companies align their interests with those of their shareholders. Our focus is on maximising value for our clients by improving the performance of the companies we invest in. We’re integrated in all aspects of ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) and believe that this comprehensive approach achieves the best results.
We focus on a wide range of issues that are crucial to the effectiveness of companies. Our areas of focus in 2014 were:
- Board diversity. We campaign for greater female representation and seek to ensure that boards have a diverse mix of skills and experience.
- Executive pay. Rewards should be aligned with long term performance. Ultimately we can vote against the re-election of directors.
- US engagement in the technology sector, on topics such as human rights in the supply chain and corporate reputation
- Better board independence on Japanese listed companies
- Corporate reporting. We want to improve the way companies report key issues such as risks, strategy and executive remuneration
- Auditor independence. We want to see mandatory auditor rotation.
- UK listed mining companies and the sustainability issues impacting UK listed mining companies
- Investor Forum. We work with other investors to understand key issues
- Cyber security. To raise the issue to the Board level.
Action on stroke
In May 2014, our employees worked with the Stroke Association on ‘Action on Stroke Month’. We focused on ‘mini-strokes’ (transient ischaemic attacks – TIAs), which are often dismissed as ‘funny turns’ rather than a warning sign of a stroke. Duncan Finch, executive MD for Insurance, said: “Stroke is one of the major health issues that can affect our customers. By working with the UK’s leading stroke charity, we can help improve our understanding of the impact of stroke.”
Yvonne, 56, who benefited from the Stroke Association’s befriending scheme.
Our business is to provide safety nets for our customers beyond what’s given through state provision. And because we deal with people when they are going through tough times, such as family death, long term sickness and loss of income, we know how vulnerable this can make them.
Our commitment to being economically and socially useful means we seek to provide financial services for those social groups that have traditionally been less likely to buy financial services products.
We’ve taken two approaches in 2014 to helping vulnerable customers:
1. We’ve sought to be socially inclusive when positioning products such as UK protection and auto-enrolled pensions so that they are accessible to less affluent people.
2. We’ve provided our front line employees with training from not-for-profit experts so they can better understand how to deal with people with the biggest vulnerabilities. See legalandgeneralgroup.com/csr