Lloyds Bank becomes first firm to receive 'Mental Health Accessible' accreditation
The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has awarded Lloyds Bank the first-ever 'Mental Health Accessible' accreditation for businesses.
The charity – set up by MSE founder and chair Martin Lewis – launched its 'Mental Health Accessible' programme last year. It's designed to get essential services providers, such as banks, energy suppliers and water companies, to understand the challenges that customers with mental health problems face using their services, and work to overcome these challenges.
The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI) says that the accreditation comes after an assessment of how accessible Lloyds Bank's services were for customers with mental health problems, and where improvements could be made.
It says Lloyds Bank reacted to changes it suggested and committed to further action.
The bank has initially been awarded an 'Essentials' rating, the first of three levels that firms can achieve. Further improvements could lead to it being awarded an 'Advanced' rating, followed by 'Leading the Way'.
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What changes has Lloyds made?
In response to MMHPI's feedback, Lloyds Bank made changes to its services to make them easier for people with poor mental health to use. These include:
- Making its website easier to navigate, including improving content to support customers experiencing mental health problems or those that have fallen behind on payments.
- Clearly signposting to sources of support for customers with gambling or mental health problems.
- Giving customers the option to save webchat conversations, to help those with reduced memory and concentration.
Why was the programme launched?
The charity created the 'Mental Health Accessible' programme after publishing research which showed that more than half of people with mental health problems face serious difficulties using the phone to carry out essential admin, and four in 10 have severe 'admin anxiety' – leaving them unable to use essential services effectively.
It launched a pilot of the programme last year in partnership with Lloyds Bank. This saw the charity undertake an evaluation of how accessible the bank's services were for customers with mental health problems, and offer recommendations on how the bank could make improvements.