LSB has published its report on inclusion in business banking and credit. The report provides insights for banks and lenders to help ensure their offerings are inclusive and accessible for disabled customers and those with other access needs.
Out of the UK’s working age population, 33% report having a long-term health problem, 20% a disability and 8% a severe disability. The report also found that elements of self-employment are viewed as beneficial for disabled people, such as flexibility and lack of barriers compared to the employed working environment.
The report is part of a wider conversation around the benefits of access to business banking. LSB’s Chief Executive has commented that limiting access “has repercussions not just for the individuals but the wider economy”. Dr Lisa Cameron MP also commented that “barriers to accessing finance is one of the key responses from disabled people in terms of prohibitors in starting or scaling up a business. People with disabilities are therefore not achieving their full potential in business in the UK.”
The report focuses on a number of areas including lived experience, inclusive design, raising awareness, language, supporting information, specialist teams, signposting and mentoring. It has recommended that firms:
- Ensure there are diverse viewpoints being used to assess risks and opportunities in the design and sign-off process;
- Examine recruitment processes to improve representation across business banking; and
- Ensure that customer service teams receive appropriate training, and that ‘vulnerable customer’ expertise is not contained only within one specialist team.