The news may be bleak for high street bank Lloyds TSB, but there is a ray of sunshine amid the gloom of the credit crunch.

The bank, which was the worst performing blue chip in the stock market yesterday, with shares falling more than 5% just days before it is due to takeover Britain’s largest mortgage lender HBOS.

Today gay equality organisation Stonewall named Lloyds TSB as the best place to work for lesbian, bisexual and gay people.

Eric Daniels, Group Chief Executive at Lloyds TSB, found time to celebrate.

“Sexual orientation has been a key diversity priority for Lloyds TSB for a number of years and this accolade is testament to our progress and commitment to this agenda,” he said.

“Our recent research with LGB staff confirmed that our internal culture has improved since the introduction of our sexual orientation strategy and that most LGB staff also feel comfortable about being out in our workplace I also believe that with first place in Stonewall Top 100 Employers comes a responsibility.

“Lloyds TSB is in a position to help influence the LGB equality agenda nationally and so we look forward keenly to continuing our relationship with Stonewall.”

Second on the Top 100 Employers 2009 was Hampshire Constabulary.

Brighton and Hove City Council came third.

The Index is based on a range of key indicators which this year included the largest ever survey of lesbian and gay employees, with almost 7,000 participants.

Gay staff working at the top 25 workplaces reported a satisfaction level almost 10 per cent higher than workplaces outside the top 100.

Staff were also more likely to disclose their sexual orientation in monitoring exercises at the highest-ranking organisations.

“In the credit crunch, shrewd employers know it makes good business sense not to cut back on robust diversity initiatives,” said David Shields, Stonewall’s Director of Workplace Programmes.

“Stonewall research proves that gay people perform much better at work when they can be themselves.

“This is a time when staff performance is crucial to employers weathering financial difficulties, which is no doubt why the Index was at its most competitive this year.”

Click here to see the 100 list.