21 October 2016

HSBC launches new British Sign Language service in branches

New service makes it easier for deaf BSL users to contact HSBC in branch.


HSBC is making it easier for deaf British Sign Language (BSL) customers to carry out their day-to-day banking in its branches by providing instant access to a BSL interpreter, the bank has announced.

Video Remote Interpretation will be available to both personal and business customers in branches and commercial centres, making it easier for deaf BSL users to communicate with HSBC.

The introduction of BSL Video Remote Interpretation follows HSBC’s successful launch of the BSL Video Relay service earlier in the year, enabling deaf BSL customers to communicate more easily with HSBC’s contact centres. Today’s launch provides customers with a choice of how to access HSBC banking services, ensuring they can select the most convenient option for them.

Stuart Haire, HSBC’s Head of Retail, UK said: “We are committed to ensuring that our products and services are accessible to all, and giving deaf and hard of hearing customers instant access to an interpreter will make it much easier for them to carry out their banking in our branches and commercial centres.

“New technology is changing the way we live and the way we bank, and we are embracing the opportunities to deliver increasingly simple and smart solutions to make banking easier. As well as bringing cutting edge voice biometric technology to our 15 million customers, digital innovations like BSL Video Remote Interpretation, enable greater financial inclusion.”

Jeff MCWhinney, SignVideo Chair and Founder “We are delighted that HSBC have taken the opportunity to extend their access for deaf BSL users from their contact centres into their branches. This now means a Deaf BSL user can walk into HSBC off the street and get the same level of service for their banking as a hearing person.”

Paul Breckell, CEO at Action on Hearing Loss said: “Becoming accessible through the use of a Video Relay Service makes a huge difference to customers who use British Sign Language. Accessibility is key for those with different communication needs, and we welcome efforts to embrace and embed processes that allow profoundly deaf customers who use BSL to fully engage with a business or service.”

Customers access the service by simply connecting to the HSBC branch WiFi on their own smartphone, tablet or laptop and selecting the icon on the screen to launch the service. Deaf BSL users will be securely connected to a qualified BSL interpreter by using the camera on their device, the professional interpreter then translates the conversation and relays it to the member of branch staff.

An example of where the BSL Video Relay Service has been used includes a customer who had their card blocked for fraud reasons whilst travelling abroad. By using the Video Relay Service they were able to contact HSBC and immediately arrange for the card to be unblocked, which would have been much more difficult had they not been able to communicate with our contact centre in this way.

Notes to editors

  • British Sign Language (BSL) Video Remote Interpretation Service available in branches and commercial centres from 17th October 2016

  • The service can be accessed at www.hsbc.co.uk/accessibility when connected to WiFi in an HSBC branch and commercial.

For the latest updates, visit the HSBC UK newsroom.

Further information:
Josie Whittle, Weber Shandwick: jwhittle@webershandwick.com / 0207 067 0645.

HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 4,400 offices in 71 countries and territories in Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,608bn at 30 June 2016, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations

HSBC Bank plc
HSBC serves c17 million customers in the UK and employs approximately 46,000 people. In the UK, HSBC offers a complete range of personal, premier and private banking services including bank accounts and mortgages. It also provides commercial banking for small to medium businesses and corporate and institutional banking services. HSBC Bank plc is a wholly owned subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc.


HSBC launches new British Sign Language service in branches (3-page PDF 340KB)