Employee Benefits Awards 2009: Most effective all-employee share scheme strategy (Sponsored by RBC Corporate Employee & Executive Services)

Lloyds Banking Group Lloyds TSB Group Sharesave Scheme

The judges praised Lloyds TSB Group for seizing the opportunity to take advantage of revised sharesave bonus rates issued by HM Treasury in September 2008 to make a one-off special offer to employees at a considerably lower, more attractive option price. The bank had launched a sharesave scheme for staff in February 2008 with an option price of £3.43 per share. But by August, its falling share price meant all outstanding share offers were underwater. Lloyds TSB Group therefore decided to take advantage of the lower sharesave bonus rates to launch an additional scheme for staff. To do so, it had to work to tight timescales and launch the scheme within 42 days – half the normal timeframe.

Despite the limited time available, the bank successfully tied the sharesave scheme to its wider corporate activities – namely, its position as the official banking and insurance partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Restricting the scheme to a three-year savings period ensured it would mature on 1 January 2012. To reinforce the link, 24 August 2008 was used as the eligibility qualifying date, coinciding with the official handover of the Olympics from Beijing to London.

The scheme achieved significant results. The bank received more than 40,000 applications, resulting in its highest-ever take-up of 63% – an increase of 26% in overall take-up. More than 5,000 of these applications were from employees who had not previously taken part in sharesave.

Pictured left: Eleanor Bateman, share schemes specialist at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We’re very pleased to win, especially considering what we’ve been through this year.”







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    Abbey’s sharesave plan gives employees the option to buy shares in Spanish parent company Banco Santander when the scheme matures. The launch of the plan was aimed at supporting the bank’s five key values of service quality, customer loyalty, efficiency, meritocracy and teamwork. Abbey also offers a share incentive plan for staff.
  • Asda ShareSave 2008 (entered by Equiniti)
    Asda’s launch of its 2008 sharesave scheme received support from the very top of the organisation. The retailer’s chief executive officer and president recorded a video message for its 24-hour television channel and added his own message to employees’ invitation letters to join the scheme. Last year, Asda also piloted a paperless application pack across several locations, encouraging staff to apply for the scheme online, by phone or by text message.
  • Henderson Global Investors
    The global asset management firm is on track to exceed its target of achieving 15% employee share ownership by 2012. The figure has already reached 14%. The company offers three main types of scheme: sharesave, buy-as-youearn and an employee share ownership plan, as well as a self-invested personal pension into which staff can roll matured share options.
  • Virgin Media 2008 Virgin Media Sharesave
    As a US company, Virgin Media faced a major challenge when launching its sharesave scheme because its shares are quoted on the Nasdaq stock exchange in US dollars, whereas staff in its UK sharesave scheme save in pounds sterling. This meant it had to gain agreement to quote its share options in UK currency to make it simpler for staff to understand. The scheme was also launched at a time of significant organisational and cultural change.