What we heard
A key finding from our Public and Stakeholder Consultation was that one of the more important ways banks can demonstrate cultural change is by becoming a more positive and proactive servant of the communities in which they operate. They want banks to understand the needs and wants of local communities and people and for banks to be a friend of the community. Customers in vulnerable positions and older people find challenges with accessibility and barriers to banking in their local community and report feeling unwanted by their bank. Some of these issues are particularly felt in rural areas, where lack of broadband access makes online banking difficult and access to service can be problematic.
What we did
A working group has been formed with senior representation from our five member banks and includes sponsors from the Irish Banking Culture Board. Whilst there is work underway in our five member banks in communities, there is a gap or perceived gap between what banks currently do for communities, and what communities need.
The IBCB undertook further research, from June to November 2020, to better understand the views of stakeholder groups, to inform the next steps in delivering positive change for communities and societies in Ireland. The research consisted of interviews with bank staff and customers, with stakeholders and advocacy groups for those in rural communities, SME and business community, those supporting people living with disabilities, older people, those who are in a vulnerable position or marginalised. This research focused on some key questions, namely, how can banks better engage with communities, are additional services required, are there learnings from other industries or countries?
The results of this research have identified potential actions to address the issues raised by respondents. The working group met in January 2021 to review the results, agree actions and identify priority areas. Plans are currently under development and updates will be included on this website.