Banks are targeting the growing Polish community living and working in the UK by recruiting Polish-speaking staff and providing current accounts that can be opened in their home country.
The accession of several eastern European states to the EU resulted in an influx of migrant workers to the UK. However, opening a bank account can be difficult because of the extra paperwork involved.
HSBC is hoping to resolve this issue with an account called Passport, which can be opened in the migrant’s home country before they leave, and also offers discounted services. Barclays is also seeking business from Poles, and has been recruiting staff as well as planning a Polish festival in London. Lloyds TSB has also said that it is working on projects designed to appeal to Poles.
A Lloyds TSB spokesperson said: We regard Polish consumers as a very important target audience, one which is industrious and a key mover in the UK economy. As such, we will be developing a number of programs we believe will have appeal and relevance to them.
Polish workers, many of whom have filled a gap in the workforce as skilled plumbers, electricians and builders, have been named as a key group keeping inflation down. Official figures show 230,000 Poles are employed in the UK, although unofficial figures have put the number as much higher.