HSBC rolls out initiatives to help customers living with dementia

Some 12,000 members of staff are undergoing information sessions to understand more about dementia and see how they can help customers

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The Independent Online

HSBC has unveiled a range of initiatives aimed at helping customers living with dementia as it seeks to become a more inclusive and user-friendly bank.

The lender on Wednesday launched a guide offering tips and advice for people affected by the condition, as well as those who support them and handle their finances. The guide is  currently being piloted in 10 HSBC branches with plans to roll it out nationwide.

HSBC, which has around 17 million customers in the UK, has also extended a partnership with Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland by three years, committing to raise £3m for the organisations during that time in an effort to change people’s perception of dementia.

Some 12,000 members of staff are currently undergoing information sessions to understand more about dementia and see how they can help their customers.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “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.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, around 850,000 people are currently living with dementia in the UK. By 2021, it is estimated that 1 million people will be living with have the condition.

Common symptoms of dementia include memory loss, problems communicating and difficulty processing information and planning, which, according to HSBC, can make financial management challenging.

Francesca McDonagh, head of wealth and retail banking at HSBC UK, said the launch of HSBC’s voice recognition technology last year - whereby customers can simply use their voice as their password, rather than having to remember a pin – is one example of how the lender is trying to make banking accessible to all customers.

“We understand that being able to manage finances independently is key for helping people living with dementia retain some control over their life,” Ms McDonagh said.

“Through this partnership, training of our staff, the launch of the guide and the ‘Dementia Friends’ information sessions,  we hope to provide even more support to help people living with dementia feel assured that they are banking within a trusted environment,” she added.

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