HSBC UK has become the first bank to introduce a daily ‘quiet hour’ across all of its branches1 to support customers with hidden conditions such as autism, dementia, and ADHD.
From today (25 October), the quiet hour will take place at 2-3pm every Monday to Friday. To create a more relaxing and enjoyable banking experience, the in-branch radio will be turned off, a designated quiet space will be available to those who need it and trained staff will be on-hand to help customers.
The HSBC UK Quiet Hour is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure people with dementia are included and understood in society and able to live independently for as long as possible.
Morven Lean, Senior Strategic Change Manager at Alzheimer’s Society said: “There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, so it’s vital that businesses are dementia friendly and provide a well-informed service and support for customers with the condition. Introducing an hour of peace and quiet will be appreciated by everyone, but for people with dementia, it’s a brilliant way for them to get the help they need without any overwhelming or triggering distractions.
“We hope that every business follows in HSBC UK’s footsteps, particularly in the busy run up to Christmas, to ensure an inclusive and relaxed experience for customers with hidden disabilities to receive the service they deserve.”
Maxine Pritchard, Head of Financial Inclusion and Vulnerability at HSBC UK said: “We want to make sure our branches are as inclusive and accessible as possible for our customers. For someone with a hidden condition such as autism, a busy bank branch can be an intimidating and over-stimulating environment.
“Through our ongoing work with charities such as Alzheimer’s Society and our role as a dementia-friendly bank, we found we could do more to support these customers and make their daily lives a little bit easier. The introduction of Quiet Hour means that more customers regardless of their disability can experience a more suitable environment and be met by a trained member of staff that understands their particular needs.”
The nationwide rollout follows a successful 12-week trial of a quiet hour in the Kingswood and Filton branches in Bristol in 2019. Feedback from customers visiting the branches during the trial include:
“I found I was much more able to concentrate when using the ATM without the background noise of the radio confusing me”
“It’s really helpful that HSBC’s Quiet Hour is at different times to other retailers as it means I don’t have to choose between them”.
“I work in a school for autistic children and I’ll be sure to tell the children and their parents about this as it would be incredibly helpful”.
HSBC UK is also a member of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme to help identify and support customers who may not have an obvious disability but could benefit from extra help, time or assistance while in branch.
For more information please visit: www.hsbc.co.uk/accessibility
Hannah Langston, HSBC UK Press Office: 07384 792 248 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to Editors
1HSBC UK has a network of 511 branches in the UK.
HSBC UK serves around 15 million customers across the UK, supported by 26,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.
HSBC Holdings plc
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of HSBC, is headquartered in London. HSBC serves customers worldwide from offices in 64 countries and territories in its geographical regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America, and Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,976bn at 30 June 2021, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.