HSBC is rolling out a series a measures to help it become a "dementia friendly bank". In a 3 year partnership with Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer's Scotland, the bank is trialling ways of making its products, services, premises and website all more accessible to those living with dementia.
"Visiting a bank branch can be an overwhelming task for a person with dementia. What many take for granted as easy, everyday banking tasks like, remembering a PIN or other personal information, can suddenly become an unexpected challenge."
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Society
To support customers living with dementia, the bank is launching an advice guide for those living with dementia as well as those who support them, to provide guidance on handling their finances.
HSBC's "Managing your money with dementia" guide offers tips such as using chip and signature cards rather than credit and debit ones which require PINs, and how to ensure the right access is set up for customers to get assistance with their finances.
Tips on Protecting your money for those living with dementia
The guide includes advice on keeping track of spending, protecting against fraud and how to enable others to support customers with their finances. Tips include:
- Keep track of spending – To keep on top of your expenditure, keep a written record of what is spent and retain receipts for all transactions. Make sure to regularly check statements too.
- Make regular payments – via Standing Orders and Direct Debits to help ensure payments are made on time and made for the correct amount.
- Use Chip and Signature Cards - Chip and signature cards can be useful for those who have difficulty remembering their PIN. Unlike debit or credit cards, there is no need to enter a PIN provided there is a signature to make a purchase.
- Enable others to help support with finances - Ensure the right access is set up for getting assistance. For example, a Third Party Mandate or Ordinary Power of Attorney won’t be suitable when someone has already lost mental capacity.
Developed from feedback from focus groups of those living with dementia and their carers, the bank is currently trialling the guide in 10 of its branches, but hope to roll it out nationally soon.
Francesca McDonagh, head of wealth and retail bank at HSBC UK, explained:
“We understand that being able to manage finances independently is key for helping people living with dementia retain some control over their life.
The launch of our voice recognition technology last year - whereby customers can simply use their voice as their password, rather than having to remember a pin - is just one example of the ways we are ensuring our banking experience is simpler to use and accessible to everyone."
The bank has committed to training its staff to help them learn more about dementia, become more familiar with the possible needs of those living with dementia, and ways they may be able to help. So far, 12,000 staff have been involved in information sessions.
"Through this partnership with HSBC, we hope to create a space where those affected by dementia feel supported and treated as equal members of society." Jeremy Hughes, Alzheimer's Society