UK bank Lloyds TSB has transformed one of its Manchester branches into a city centre banking "superstore" designed to provide tailored services to all new immigrant arrivals, in particular the rapidly expanding Polish community in the area.
The revamped store, to be formally opened in February, will include a number of fluent Polish speakers on the front line and will offer Polish language account opening forms and brochures.
Lloyds TSB says it also recently simplified its identification requirements so new customers only need one form of photo identification - such as passport or EU identity card - to open a current account, rather than two.
As part of the launch of this new service, Lloyds TSB interviewed over 1000 Poles who are considering moving to the UK asking them about their concerns. Almost a quarter (21%) cited sorting out finances as their biggest concern, while 23% were worried about the complexity of the account opening process.
Gerrard Schmid, Lloyds TSB transaction banking director, says the new international superstore will help to take the fear factor out of opening a bank account for customers new to the UK.
"There is a clear demand for a tailored banking service and to meet this demand we have been adapting our procedures, in particular we have focused on making the account opening process as straightforward as possible for all our customers," he says. "If successful, we hope to launch a number of other specialised stores across the country later in the year."