LSB speaks on digital evolution and inclusivity

Anna Roughley of the LSB has spoken on the evolution of digital and technical services in the context of providing a consumer-focussed outcome for lending. First she noted that, while digital banking is ideal for many, there remain customers who either cannot use technology or otherwise need a “human touch”. She discussed how banking hubs are important to provide accessibility but that banks and lenders must fully consider how to keep buy in from customers who have traditionally used branches – because the banking hub experience will be different. She focused on the need for inclusivity in design – and the importance of making that a project objective. She noted that firms should ensure there is a selection of diverse viewpoints assessing risks and opportunities at the outset and stressed the value of using “lived experiences” as a guide to future development. She gave an example that, for instance, British Sign Language does not actually translate to plain English when written – so the importance of having a wide range of views that would pick up anomalies others may not consider is key. She then looked at the need to give customers the time they need to do things like complete applications when they need support, the fundamental importance of training staff on use of accessibility tools and raising awareness among staff of customer needs. She then touched on communication – and how some staff may hesitate to act when they should for fear of causing offence. She ended by saying the key is that customers truly understand how their banks want to, and will, support them.

Emma Radmore