Making financial services more dementia friendly

People living with dementia tell us that one of the biggest challenges they face is dealing with banks, building societies and insurance companies. Access to financial services is a fundamental aspect of life that most of us take for granted but one that is fraught with difficulties when one develops dementia.

The financial services sector has worked with Alzheimer’s Society to develop a dementia-friendly financial services charter designed to enable the sector to work towards becoming more welcoming to those affected by dementia.

Dementia-friendly financial services charter

Organisations signing up to the Dementia-friendly financial services charter will meet the following commitments.

Recognise

  • Recognising that dementia is a growing societal challenge, organisations will appoint a senior level Dementia Champion.
  • The Dementia Champion will raise the benefits and promote the importance of working towards becoming a more dementia-friendly organisation.
  • Organisations will commit to delivering basic awareness training about dementia to all relevant staff so they are better able to recognise and act on the signs and symptoms of dementia.
  • Organisations will identify the needs of customers with dementia and create a culture where customers feel comfortable discussing their needs with us.

Understand

  • Organisations will commit to delivering more in-depth training to specialist staff working, for example, in vulnerable customer, risk, financial crime, complaints and legal teams so they understand the impact of dementia.
  • Organisations will develop practical and consistent guidance for front line staff so they can better support people affected by dementia.
  • Organisations will ensure that staff are aware of their duties and responsibilities with respect to relevant legislation and industry standards, for example the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 

Respond

  • Organisations will make it easy for people affected by dementia to tell them and discuss their specific customer service needs.
  • Organisations will work towards ensuring that communication and service needs can be recorded so that they can do their best to ensure that future service is tailored appropriately.
  • Organisations will ensure that where a product is not suitable due to the impact of dementia, their staff can confidently explain why and provide any relevant information on how and where help may be available.
  • Organisations will commit to an on-going consideration of the needs of people affected by dementia when amending or developing their business processes, procedures and products.
  • Organisations will support the carers of customers living with dementia by providing fair, appropriate and consistent standards of practice within the legal frameworks that acknowledge the rights and responsibilities of third party representatives in the UK.
  • Organisations commit to working in partnership with other relevant organisations and appropriate agencies to ensure that they develop and follow best practice when dealing with vulnerable customers, including reporting incidents of suspected financial abuse/harm
  • Organisations will help and encourage their product, service and supply partners to assess their products and services where appropriate to ensure they support people affected by dementia.
  • Organisations will promote dementia-friendly practices within the financial services industry to help the industry deliver its dementia-friendly commitments.
  • Organisations will support staff who wish to take part in Dementia-friendly and other community initiatives.

You can download the full charter by clicking on the button below:

Download the charter