Support for Community & Society
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. Communities want banks to engage with them, rather than expecting customers to engage with banks. They want banks to understand the needs and wants of local communities and people and for banks to be a friend of the community. Vulnerable and elderly people find challenges with accessibility and barriers to banking in their local community and report feeling unwanted by their bank. Challenges with accessibility and barriers to banking are particularly felt in rural areas, where lack of broadband access makes online banking difficult and access to service can be problematic.
A working group has been formed with senior representation from our five member banks and includes sponsors from the Irish Banking Culture Board.
There is an opportunity to fill the gap between what banks currently do for communities, and what communities actually need. It is recognised that more up to date research would be beneficial to inform this piece of work. We are currently undertaking further research on the actual needs and wants of local communities, to inform the next steps in delivering positive changes for communities and societies in Ireland. This will include:
- How can banks collectively better engage with communities, with a particular focus on Rural Ireland?
- What services are needed, are additional accessibility supports required?
- What can be learned from other industries and/or other countries?
Following this research, a more detailed programme of work will be developed. We expect to complete this research in September/ October 2020.