On 23 May 2023, the Lending Standards Board (LSB) published a report on access for d/Deaf customers in banking and credit. The report includes insights and considerations aimed at helping the financial services industry to understand d/Deaf cultures and address remaining areas of inaccessibility for d/Deaf people. Within the report, the LSB looks at key considerations to deliver the tailored and responsive support required.
The report highlights the following points:
- It is vital that banking and lending products are inclusive for the different types of customers across the UK. For d/Deaf customers and those with hearing loss, there is a risk of financial exclusion, i.e. being left unable to access the products and services they need.
- There is a need for an understanding of d/Deaf cultures and the different ways d/Deafness and hearing loss can affect people. This is not currently thought to be well understood and can lead to inaccessible and inappropriate communication options for some customers.
- Due to challenges faced when accessing banking and credit, many d/Deaf customers rely on the support of third parties. Firms need to be confident that their processes and practices relating to third parties are effective, especially in relation to d/Deaf customers.
- Firms should raise the awareness of staff as to how d/Deaf customers may require support and how a tailored approach should be taken.
- Appointing champions within firms who can educate and advise colleagues on specific needs, including for d/Deafness and hearing loss, could help raise standards and contribute to an inclusive culture.
The report forms part of the LSB’s inclusion report series for banks and lenders registered with the LSB’s best practice standards and codes, and those yet to sign up.