Nearly three-quarters (73%) of disabled people have delayed contacting an essential service provider because it seemed too daunting to them, meaning they could be missing out on much-needed support and important information.
To help offer a solution to this, HSBC UK has joined forces with Experian and other founding partners including Nationwide Building Society, Tesco Bank, consumer credit provider NewDay and Ovo, to launch Support Hub, a single one-stop portal for consumers to tell multiple service providers how they need to be contacted and what support they need to access their services.
Research carried out by Experian found that disabled people wait, on average, more than two months - 82 days - before contacting a provider. They cited feeling emotionally drained (37%), anxious (34%) and demoralised (27%) after interactions with organisations. And almost one third (28%) of disabled people polled said their finances had been negatively impacted by not being able to easily contact essential service providers.
Jose Carvalho, Head of Wealth & Personal Banking, HSBC UK, said: “It’s important that customers have easier access to the support they need, without needing to repeat themselves across multiple firms. Using a one-stop portal to tell their providers how they need to be contacted and supported, will help improve customer experience and make strides to create a more inclusive environment for all our customers.”
“We believe that financial health is a key part of overall well-being. We are proud to be a founding partner of the innovative Experian Support Hub.”
Support Hub is the culmination of more than three years’ work between HSBC UK, Experian, the other founding partners and accessibility experts. The team worked with lived experience experts and charities who were key to creating an accessible service.
The platform seeks to alleviate barriers faced by a variety of customers. This could include their preferred method of communication such as accessible format letters, telephone, or email, or other requirements such as needing a longer appointment, or being accompanied by another adult to assist them.
HSBC UK brands including first direct and M&S Bank have plans to offer the service to their customers, with a date for their launch yet to be confirmed.
Support Hub is unique in that it does not require consumers to disclose their disability, health condition or personal circumstances – only the support they require from the organisations they use. Consumers using the platform will have complete control over which organisations they share with, what needs they share and they can remove or change their request at any time.
When surveyed about the solution, 60% of respondents said they would like to use a service that informs multiple suppliers about their needs.
José Luiz Rossi, Managing Director, Experian UK&I, said: “We need to remove the frustration and anxiety people feel when contacting service providers, and we have to build solutions and products that are accessible for everyone. The world is not built for minority groups, and we often expect people with disabilities to conform to typical expectations.
“We’ve built Support Hub with partners from the disabled community and our founding members, so we can help level the communications playing field for people with access requirements.”
People can use Support Hub by visiting: https://supporthub.experian.co.uk/
HSBC UK Media Relations: Becky Hume, Media Relations Manager for HSBC UK
Notes to editors:
Nationally representative research carried out by Opinium of 1,000 UK adults with support needs, and 1,000 without support needs.
*Access needs/requirements include conditions or illnesses that affect people in the following areas: vision; hearing; mobility; dexterity; learning or understanding or concentrating; memory; mental health; stamina or breathing or fatigue; socially or behaviourally.
About Support Hub
About HSBC UK
HSBC UK serves over 14.75 million customers across the UK, supported by 24,000 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 62 countries and territories. With assets of $2,990bn at 31 March 2023, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.