A visit to Lloyd's Banking Group

Posted by Jeff Riley on 24 April 2012

*** This post has been checked 3 April 2013. Most graduate scheme places in Lloyds closed by December but ad hoc posts still available. Worth checking the site for useful blogs for those considering applying in future ***

I've changed roles recently and have been finding my way at my new postings at Queen Mary (including their excellent politics and history departments) and UCL. I intend to keep on posting here about getting into international development as well as international relations and related careers. Occasionally I post on other things and I have just uncovered this report I wrote on a visit to the Lloyds banking group towards the end of last year. I normally ask the companies to double check my visit reports but on this occasion it got a little lost. Rather than just chuck it I thought I'd post it here and hope it gives readers an idea of the kinds of roles and internships a bank offers - this was for the 2012 programme but the 2013 programme will no doubt be unveiled later this year...


Jeff Riley, The Careers Group, University of London

10.30am I'm on my last corporate visit of the summer. Graduate recruiters use these group visits to brief careers advisers about their forthcoming recruitment campaigns. I push the boat out by bringing a suit to change into as I cycled here. Top facilities to get changed in and I emerge looking all presentable and normal and head like an arrow for the tea and hob knob biscuits.

11.10am Michael Nathan from Lloyds graduate recruitment team does the housekeeping, you know the usual cautionary note to prevent death by burning. Even more ominous to me is the phrase 'buffet lunch'. Perhaps I misheard?

11.20am Lloyds 2012 campaign has started with the launch of the website yesterday. I'm feeling autumn term has arrived early this year and this kind of keeness isn't helping. I see a tidal wave coming at me with data projectors, roving mikes, students and recruiters all bearing down on me with no higher ground available. Apparently Lloyds have already received 600 applications from pre-registered students. These statistics are going to take pride of place in my tough love campaign I'm planning for students in the new academic year. "Hello welcome to College ....you are already behind in the race."

A corporate video to start...that's technologically brave but it works a treat. These guys go back to the 17th century. Since then they have amalgamated with Scottish Widows, TSB, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, Clerical Medical, Cheltenham and Gloucester (and most recently, of course, with the UK government). Now the largest retail bank in the UK with 30 million customers (including it turns out half of the careers people in the room) and a £1 trillion balance sheet. All this to a Carmina Burana style sound track.

11.30am Graduate leadership group. 360 degrees of opportunity This strap line really rooted in the breadth of organizations that now make up the group. One of the key themes of the day is that this breadth means retail banking is only one option for graduates. They can become involved in insurance, wholesale and corporate banking, foreign exchange, risk and more. Trainees can opt for many different streams and, during their training (typically two years) rotational placements give a varied foundation for future careers.

Michael then asked us why Lloyds had been in the news lately . Hang on I know this....No it's gone. Was it something about separating retail from investment banking? No one could remember but we all then remembered it was about a big redundancy programme the Group had announced. Michael assured us though that these would be phased redundancies and in the coming campaign they still want 200 graduates and 60 summer interns.

Trainees take a series of placements, usually between 3 and 4 across divisions such as insurance and banking all underpinned by a different theme eg customer service, leadership and different aspects of risk, for example risk focusing on HR issues. Most likely these rotational training programmes will involve working in different parts of the UK

Lloyds see the graduate training programmes as a chance for trainees to see which discipline and area would suit them in the longer term. All trainees are supported by a central team and a personal and a professional development programme which includes including a formal qualification in such things as accountancy, human resources and IT.

Options include

  • General management – This stream takes 50% of trainees and includes community banks, wholesale, operations and wealth. All programmes include leadership skills and the IFS School of Finance professional qualification
  • Corporate banking - includes 8 weeks technical training
  • Treasury and Trading
  • Wholesale Markets
  • Finance - CIMA or ACA professional qualification option. A 3 year programme
  • Business technology - a challenging area to recruit for but Lloyds stress it's not about programming’ and is really about leading and managing. However an interest in technology is essential. The professional qualification is the ADMP - Association of Project Management - in other words a management rather than a technical qualification
  • HR – Includes support for CIPD

Benefits package. £28k-£38k plus £3k joining bonus. Laptop and mobile phone and, where appropriate, London weighting.

Entry qualifications. Need 2.1 and between 260 and 320 UCAS points.

In addition the application process looks for

‘Leadership’. If the only evidence of leadership is as part of an academic module then it is not going to be considered sufficient.

A Numerical test is included but the good news is that most people pass this.

Telephone interview covering communication skills and the other competencies

Assessment centre


The Internship Programe. - A 10 week summer internship programme with the same recruitment process as graduate entry. The good news though this can convert into a job offer (called ‘referral’) after a successful internship. Consequently around 80 % of interns get referred. Finalists who are going on to a masters programme can apply to the internship programmme after their degree but more typically internships go to penultimate year students.

Hints and tips

* Research Lloyds banking group

* Attend university events where Lloyds are taking part

* Catch the webinars on the graduate web site

* Keep abreast of finance and industry news eg independent commission on banking report - going beyond tabloid front page news.

Current Trainees

This section introduced us to some current trainees on different programmes

# Corporate markets trainee - a computer science grad from university of Manchester from 2009. Range of work includes

  • Restructuring debt deal
  • Currently a forex dealer - from 100k to 100 million - first deal was for £40 billion yen. Now enjoys looking at profit at the end of the day.
  • Not about being weeded out or long hours. They 'chuck money around' for professional qualifications. Good social network amongst the recruits

# Amy Walter - HR from University of Bath. Relevant degree is unusual. Had done a bank of England internship. Now executive resourcing A new chief executive means lots of changes at the top

  • Business placement - product manager in payments team looking at profit level on debit card and some fraud. Great front office experience. With a general HR placement to come
  • Social side like being a student but with money.Able to organise own work shadowing - 100 per cent yes because of buy-in from management
  • CIPD is useful but a challenge to balance it with work.
  • Scope for charity work eg encouraging HR staff to work in schools or local hero mentoring scheme - young athletes sponsored by Lloyds

# Alex fogg a business studies graduate from University of Cardiff

Currently insurance manager in risk. Negotiating with brokers

Why Lloyds? A colleague points out that all the trainees comments sounded like they could be equally applied to other graduate schemes. All the trainees acknowledged that they had applied to other schemes but found Lloyds recruitment process less ‘gruelling’ and gave a chance to meet other recent trainees which gave them a sense of the culture. At Lloyds it felt like looking for reasons to recruit you rather than weed you out.

1 pm Okay it's lunchtime now so why is James Weaver asking a question? It's my fault I should have briefed him more precisely about my lunch needs. Having said that the dread phrase 'buffet lunch' was heard earlier so I am braced for disappointment

The legendary lunches at Deloitte and Accenture are hard acts to follow but I can't be doing with fancy little sandwiches with fruit to follow. In fact I stopped providing buffet sandwiches at my careers events because I disapprove of them in principle. There is a little cafe right in the atrium where our lunch is served and I toy with the idea of making a raid on it but hold off because I realise my food preferences might seem like borderline phobias. I plough through a third slice of melon.

After lunch a very thorough outline of Lloyds diversity programmes. Suffice to say the length of the session did underline how seriously the issue is being taken.

4pm - Cycling home. Weather good but wonder if I have eaten enough melon to get me home.

Topics: Jobs and Internships, Business and Finance, international development

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