Financial services firms, charities and accessibility organisations have teamed up to support the launch of

The new website aims to improve the experience of deaf people when engaging with banks and lenders. It brings together over 20 partners from inside and outside the financial services sector. These include Nationwide, Lloyds Banking Group & Barclays, in a joint initiative to boost deaf accessibility. As well as enhancing banking services, the initiative is designed to promote awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people.

Specifically, the website features an innovative interface to bring banking services together with deaf customers.

In addition, it provides resources and guides for deaf people and financial services firms. This will help deaf customers navigate banks’ accessibility support and signpost accessible financial advice helplines. Support on the site will be available in both plain English and BSL.

12 million Brits are deaf or have hearing loss

Breda Leyne of ESquared, said: “signingbanks.UK is built on the belief that everyone, regardless of their hearing ability, deserves seamless access to financial resources and services. Through innovation, advocacy and collaboration, we are determined to bridge the gap between the financial sector and the deaf community.

“We will be working hard to promote the needs of deaf customers, share existing good practice and technological innovations, and to highlight outstanding gaps in service provision.”

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Kathryn Townsend, Head of Customer Vulnerability and Accessibility, Nationwide, added: “We believe in making banking accessible, inclusive and fairer. That is why we are delighted to be sponsoring the new website. The ethos behind the website and the support and content it aims to provide means it will be a crucial resource in helping to achieve that ambition. Collaboration is key to ensuring that deaf customers have access to all the vital financial information they need. So, we are pleased to be working with the wider financial services industry on this new site.” launch partners include: AIB, Bank of Ireland UK, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Cooperative Bank, HSBC/First Direct, Lloyds, Metro Bank, Monzo, National Debt Line, Nationwide, NatWest, NewDay, Phoenix Group, Sainsbury’s Bank, Santander, Starling, StepChange, Tesco Bank and PRA Group.

Progress made by UK financial services sector in offering better accessibility support to deaf customers: LSB

Also timed to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week, a report from the Lending Standards Board flags up progress made by UK banks and lenders over the last 12 months in offering better accessibility support to deaf customers.

In the UK, one in five adults are deaf, have hearing loss, or tinnitus. Hearing loss affects more than 40% of people over 50 years old and 70% of people over 70. LSB research has highlighted the challenges deaf people face when accessing financial services.

The LSB’s latest report reveals that progress has been made in a number of areas including:

  • The availability of remote-access British Sign Language (BSL). This is now offered by 73% of surveyed LSB registered firms, up from 55% in 2023.
  • Access to lip speaker services increasing from being available at 36% of surveyed registered firms to 45%;
  • The availability of note takers, rising from being offered at just 9% of surveyed registered firms in 2023 to 45% in 2024
  • Enhancements to firms’ digital services, with online BSL translation available through 18% of surveyed registered firms in 2024, up from 9% in 2023.