HSBC rolls out a range of measures to help customers with dementia and the challenges they face managing their money

 
Rebecca Smith
HSBC's guide includes advice on making regular payments via standing orders and direct debits to help ensure payments are on time
HSBC's guide includes advice on making regular payments via standing orders and direct debits to help ensure payments are on time (Source: Getty)

HSBC has unveiled plans to position itself as a "dementia friendly bank", rolling out a range of initiatives to help support those affected by 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.

It has also been training staff across the bank, offering information sessions for employees to help them learn about it and how they can help. So far, 12,000 HSBC employees have been involved.

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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.

It has been developed off the back of feedback from focus groups of those living with dementia and their carers and the guide is currently being piloted in 10 branches, with a view to expanding it nationwide.

Francesca McDonagh, head of wealth and retail bank at HSBC UK, said: “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."

There are currently around 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and by 2021, it is estimated that one million people will be living with the condition. Common symptoms include memory loss, problems communicating and difficulty processing information and planning, which HSBC notes can make financial management challenging.

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.

"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," he added.

HSBC is extending a three-year partnership with Alzheimer's Society and Alzheimer Scotland across HSBC UK, in an effort to change people's perceptions of dementia. The bank is also looking at how it can improve products, services and its premises further, as well as its website to ensure it is accessible for those living with dementia.

Last month, HSBC announced it was rolling out a number of new services to deliver an improved banking service for transgender and non-binary customers, introducing 10 gender neutral titles for those who don't identify as a particular gender, or don't want to be identified by gender.

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