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Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland first UK banks to win improved mental health rating

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland are the first banks in the UK to be awarded an ‘advanced’ mental health accessibility rating.

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute announced the rating as part of its ‘Mental Health Accessible’ programme, in which the charity analyses what progress is being made by essential services and banks.

Each of the three banks was awarded an ‘essentials’ rating in 2021 and the charity highlighted key factors which led to an improved ‘advanced’ rating.

It stated the businesses were now:

  • Taking steps to better understand the different types of vulnerabilities customers are experiencing. The firms are also using data-driven insights to identify and anticipate the needs of customers in vulnerable circumstances, in order to provide support.
  • Providing holistic training to frontline colleagues dealing with customers in vulnerable circumstances, to help identify those who might be struggling and support them appropriately. They have to be committed to providing specific training on how colleagues can support people with mental health problems.
  • Increasing the sophistication of gambling blocks, through functions like allowing customers to set personal limits for gambling through the mobile banking app. This is important for people with mental health problems who can experience increased impulsivity when they are unwell.

Banks taking ‘great stride’ to be more accessible

Rosie Normanton, head of strategic partnerships at Money and Mental Health, commented: “We are impressed with the great strides they (Halifax, Lloyds, Bank of Scotland) have made in recent years to make their services more supportive for people with mental health problems, and we will continue to work with them to build on this progress further.

“When you’re struggling with your mental health, managing your bank account or getting in touch with customer service teams can be incredibly difficult.

“But when you’re also faced with hard-to-access support – or a service which simply isn’t designed with people with mental health problems in mind – that can very quickly turn into an impossible task.”