Lloyds TSB in the West Midlands is leading the pack in terms of race and diversity in the workplace, according to a new report.
Action, Accountability, Advantage is the fifth annual benchmarking report to be published by racial equality organisation Race for Opportunity (RfO).
Ethnic minority workers now account for 20 per cent of Lloyds TSB's graduate intake, compared with just three to four per cent five years ago.
Phil Whitby, Lloyds TSB corporate regional director for the Midlands and the East, said the issue of diversity was more important than ever, particularly in Birmingham, which has one of the largest ethnic minority populations in the UK.
"As a group, Lloyds TSB is constantly striving to improve practices relating to staff, customers and communities, and the report from RfO is a record of our success," he said.
"In the not-too-distant future, the ethnic minority population in Birmingham will exceed the ethnic majority, which means now more than ever businesses need to adopt a more pro-active approach to issues of race and diversity.
" The ethnic minority population in the UK has an annual disposable income spending power of around £32 billion and catering effectively to this sector will reap rewards on the bottom line."
The results of the report show that 91 per cent of the companies which took part in the research stated they now have a clear business case for promoting racial equality, compared with 78 per cent in 2004.
Also, the majority of organisations believe it is critical that action on race should be led from the top, with 94 per cent of companies stating that they have appointed a board level individual to champion race and diversity issues.
Of the other results, 84 per cent of organisations said they had assigned a budget and team to employing a more diverse workforce, while the number of companies that have put in place community involvement programmes has increased from 86 per cent to 93 per cent.
Lloyds TSB looks to boost the confidence of workers from ethnic minority backgrounds, and encourages them to speak out.
Mr Whitby said: "The key to a successful diversity strategy is engagement. Businesses of all sizes need to keep communication lines open to ensure that relationships are built and maintained going forward.
"Lloyds TSB Corporate has forged a strong relationship with the Black Country Asian Business Association and we are continuing to work closely with them on a number of business and community initiatives.
"For the past two years the bank has also been the main sponsor of the Asian Jewel Awards, which aims to recognise and promote the breadth of talent within the UK's Asian community."
Race for Opportunity is a business-led network of more than 180 private and public sector organisations UK-wide, with a combined workforce in excess of two million people.