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HSBC introduces ‘quiet hour’ in branches for customers with hidden disabilities

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HSBC has introduced a daily ‘quiet hour’ across all its UK branches to support customers with hidden conditions such as autism, dementia and ADHD.

The quiet hour will take place between 2pm and 3pm every Monday to Friday.

The bank claims to be the first to offer such a service, which will see the in-branch radio turned off, a designated quiet space for those who need it and trained staff to help customers.

The HSBC UK Quiet Hour is supported by the Alzheimer’s Society to ensure people with dementia are included and understood in society and able to live independently for as long as possible.

Morven Lean, senior strategic change manager at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, so it’s vital that businesses are dementia friendly and provide a well-informed service and support for customers with the condition.

“Introducing an hour of peace and quiet will be appreciated by everyone, but for people with dementia, it’s a brilliant way for them to get the help they need without any overwhelming or triggering distractions.

“We hope that every business follows in HSBC UK’s footsteps, particularly in the busy run up to Christmas, to ensure an inclusive and relaxed experience for customers with hidden disabilities to receive the service they deserve.”

Maxine Pritchard, head of financial inclusion and vulnerability at HSBC UK, said: “We want to make sure our branches are as inclusive and accessible as possible for our customers. For someone with a hidden condition such as autism, a busy bank branch can be an intimidating and over-stimulating environment.”

The nationwide rollout follows a successful 12-week trial of a quiet hour in the Kingswood and Filton branches in Bristol in 2019.

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