Developing a new mindsetOctober 2015
At this year’s BITC Responsible Business Awards , Lloyds Banking Group won the building stronger communities award for its work increasing access to financial services for people with dementia. Here , Graham Lindsey, director, Responsible Business tells Ethical Performance how – and why - it set about addressing the needs of customers dealing with this challenging condition.
How did the idea for the dementia programme get on Lloyds’ radar?
Within our Helping Britain Prosper Plan we have committed to be the best bank for customers. That commitment includes those dealing with dementia. One in three people over 65 may develop dementia. With millions of customers, we have a relationship with almost every household within the UK and we are well placed to help develop dementia-friendly communities. Dementia is a growing societal challenge and access to financial services is a fundamental aspect of life that most of us take for granted, but it is one that is fraught with difficulties for those people living with dementia.
What kind of difficulties do dementia sufferers face with financial services?
Studies show that 76% of people with dementia have experienced difficulties when using their bank. Problems include remembering pin numbers through to maintaining a consistent signature that matches a bank card to requesting products that are unsuitable for their particular circumstances. We have tried to make it easy for those people affected by dementia to tell us and discuss their specific customer needs with us and to promote dementia-friendly practices throughout our organisation. 38,000 colleagues became involved in our charity of the year programme, delivering almost 80,000 hours of volunteering and raising £6.5m over the two year period. We also created almost 9,000 dementia friends in our branches.Sustainable change is more than just about money; it’s about engaging communities to take collective action.
Who do you partner with? And how did you select them?
In developing our approach to dementia, we worked with the Alzheimer’s society who, along with Alzheimer’s Scotland were chosen by our colleagues as our Charity of the Year.
When did the programme start?
Launched in January 2013, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland remained our charity of the year for two years until December 2014. At that time we adopted BBC Children in Need as our charity partner.
What does Lloyds’ involvement entail?
The Alzheimer’s programme was a ground-breaking two year initiative that led to the creation of a cross industry working group where Lloyds Banking Group led the sector by developing and co-launching the Dementia-Friendly Financial Services Charter, a landmark guide for banks to help them respond to the needs of customers with dementia and their carers. Around 38,000 colleagues have been involved in everything from baking cakes to trekking the Sahara and climbing Ben Nevis, raising £6.5m (smashing the original target of £2m). We created 713 Dementia Friends in branches and trained 830,000 colleagues. A staggering 79,648 hours of volunteering were undertaken by colleagues and we believe that 9,000 carers have been impacted through training. Over 530 Carers Information and Support programmes were delivered and 205,000 dementia guides distributed.
How does the programme align with the core business? Or is it more about your business values?
The programme reached right into the heart of the organisation where we put customers first in all that we do - including those dealing with dementia.
Our programme has delivered a lasting legacy through the colleagues we have trained, the carers we have helped, through to unlocking financial services for UK households living with dementia. The work to create the Dementia-Friendly Financial Services Charter will help those organisations that sign up to make their entire operations dementia-friendly. This means that managing money does not add to the list of worries that people with dementia and their carers face.
Are there plans to build on the initiative?
Through our Helping Britain Prosper Plan we have committed to be the best bank for customers - this commitment continues.
Business in the Community’s 2016 Responsible Business Awards open for entries in November. The awards are open to businesses of all sizes across any sector and recognise businesses that are creating a fairer society and more sustainable future. Application forms will be live from 2 November 2015 – 12 February 2016 at www.bitc.org.uk/awards.
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