Money and Mental Health Policy has announced Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have each been awarded an ‘Advanced’ accreditation through the Mental Health Accessible programme – the first UK firms to receive this accolade. This is the second of three, progressively more demanding levels of accreditation a firm can achieve through the scheme (the first is ‘Essentials’ and the third is ‘Leading the Way’).
The three banks were accredited with an ‘Essentials’ rating by Money and Mental Health in 2020 and 2021, following in-depth assessments that tested the accessibility of their services for people with mental health problems – including a review of their customer services, colleagues’ training and customer-facing communications.
Money and Mental Health has upgraded this rating to ‘Advanced’ status in recognition of the progress made by the three banks in making their services more accessible and supportive for people living with mental health problems, and the action taken on previous recommendations set out by the charity including:
While Money and Mental Health also shared a number of recommendations on where the banks can make further improvements to enhance support for customers with mental health problems.
The charity will continue to work with the banks to increase the ways in which customers are able to communicate with them, such as secure messaging and email. Money and Mental Health is also looking to support other banks and essential services firms, to help them make their services more accessible and supportive for people with mental health problems.
Rosie Normanton, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Money and Mental Health, said “We’re delighted that Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland have achieved the next level of Mental Health Accessible accreditation – the first UK banks to do so. We are impressed with the great strides they’ve made in recent years to make their services more supportive for people with mental health problems, and we will continue to work with them to build on this progress further.”
“When you’re struggling with your mental health, managing your bank account or getting in touch with customer service teams can be incredibly difficult. But when you’re also faced with hard-to-access support – or a service which simply isn’t designed with people with mental health problems in mind – that can very quickly turn into an impossible task.”
“With 1 in 2 adults likely to experience a mental health problem in their lifetime, it’s vital that financial services firms are equipped to support people struggling with their mental health. We want to help other banks and essential services providers better understand the needs of these customers – and develop solutions to make their services more accessible and supportive. In the context of the Consumer Duty and the ongoing cost of living crisis, it’s vital that banks act to ensure that all their customers can easily access the services and support they need.”
Catherine Rutter, Group Customer Inclusion Director and Group Sponsor for Neurodiversity at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We’re proud to have been recognised as the first three financial organisations to achieve the ‘Advanced’ rating from the Mental Health Accessible programme facilitated by Money and Mental Health Policy Institute. By working to ensure our products and services are accessible for customers with mental health problems we’re proving our organisation is a force for good, especially as 1 in 2 adults in the UK are likely to experience mental health problems during their lifetime.”
“Lloyds Bank, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland were previously awarded the ‘Essentials’ rating but with further enhancements made to make our services more accessible we are proud to have achieved the advanced rating. Receiving this accreditation showcases the organisation’s commitment to Helping Britain Prosper.”