The BBA has said that it will update the Access to Banking Protocol in response to an independent review into the effectiveness of the Protocol one year after implementation.
The Protocol was put in place in May 2015 to manage the way signatory banks’ branch closures were effected. The review by Professor Russel Griggs OBE acknowledged that the digitalisation of banking has led to a paradigm shift in accessibility requirements for some, but not all, sections of society. As high street banks’ models for servicing customers are correspondingly updated, the resulting risk is that some people may be left behind.
The review noted that high street banks have tried hard to manage closures appropriately, but that there were a number of areas for improvement, for example in relation to engagement and communications with customers and stakeholders, and in particular for older and business customers, to more proactively work to understand and accommodate requirements.
The BBA will now work with industry stakeholders and Professor Griggs to update the guidelines in the Protocol, which will come into effect in 2017.