Talking to your bank about accessible accounts and services

If you have a bank or building society account, their products and services have to be accessible. But you should talk to them if there is something you’re not happy with.

Your rights as a disabled customer

Under the Equality Act 2010, your bank must provide you with equal access to all its products and services. The UK’s main current account providers have also agreed to publish better information about the services banks offer to all customers.

Your bank should:

  • change policies, procedures or practices that disadvantage disabled people, such as removing a no dogs rule for customers with guide dogs, or providing seats if customers are expected to queue
  • provide a way to access a service when there is a barrier to a disabled customer, such as providing video calls for branch-only appointments
  • produce statements and other correspondence in Braille or provide hearing loops and talking cashpoints (ATM)

Talking to your bank

If you are unhappy with any part of your bank’s service, you should talk to them. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has a list of banks that give customers more information about their services. Some banks have a specific page for disabled customers. Use other banks as a guide to what you could ask your bank for. If you’re still not happy after talking to your bank, make an official complaint or switch to a bank that’s more accessible.

Complaining about a bank or building society (Citizens Advice)

Help to manage your money

Joint accounts let both account holders manage the account. Make sure you trust the person you open the joint account with as they will also be able to withdraw cash. Ask your bank or building society to explain the security of any account you open with them.

Speak to your bank or building society about setting up a third-party mandate. This is a document telling your bank that someone you trust is allowed to run your personal accounts. Mandates are usually only for a short amount of time. They are not suitable if you are losing the ability to make your own decisions.

Find out how a lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows someone you trust to talk to your bank or building society on your behalf.

The Money Advice Service has information about getting informal help to manage your money. They also have information about joint bank accounts.

Using technology

While your bank has a duty to make its products and services accessible, there is also technology that can help.

Disability charity Henshaws has information about large print and tactile credit and debit cards, wearable contactless wristbands with a pre-loaded amount and chequebook templates that can make everyday banking a lot easier.

The RNIB has reviewed a range of banking apps for accessibility.

Read how wearable banking technology has made life easier for an England amputee football star.

AbilityNet has worked with Barclays Bank to produce a video about accessible banking.

Watch a Youtube video about talking cashpoints (ATM machines)

Last reviewed by Scope on: 11/03/2018

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