Supporting accessibility in financial services: identifying the change drivers

In May 2023, EY and UK Finance began a series of forums to explore accessibility barriers that exist within the banking and financial services industry.

Following our first forum in May, EY and UK Finance came together again in September to host the second in the series. This forum brought together over 30 participants from 17 UK banks, alongside returning charities the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Royal National Institute for Deaf People, Whizz-Kidz, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, and the Alzheimer’s Society.

The goal of the second forum was to develop tangible solutions – based on the capabilities and services offered by the participating banks – to shared challenges facing the charities.

The Forum began with a cross-sector panel discussion with panellists from Feedzai, Microsoft and Shell, who shared insights about addressing the challenges of accessibility in sectors outside of financial services.

Each charity came to the forum with a unique ‘problem statement’, and participants explored a ‘who, what, where, when and why’ journey for each statement before mapping proposed solutions against a ‘customer impact vs complexity’ board. Key to this approach was understanding the internal barriers that banks may face in implementing change, with the goal of identifying the critical steps to take to initiate positive change for customers.

Through deeper discussion during breakout sessions, attendees identified six key focus areas – or “change driver themes” – to successfully ignite change for customers:

  1. Senior sponsorship is essential: CEOs of the most progressive organisations have embedded accessibility into their strategies.
  2. Data is a key accessibility enabler: Data – when used ethically – is a powerful resource for banks, helping to create positive experiences for all customers by highlighting their specific needs, thus enabling individuals to be communicated with in a way that works for them.
  3. Nurture a culture of accessibility: Accessibility and inclusive design must be more than a regulatory compliance exercise; it should be embedded across all areas of and reinforced through a banks culture.
  4. Nothing is unachievable: the banking industry collectively needs to focus on tackling the hard problems, the wealth of information held across the sector should be used collaboratively to provide change for those who need it most.
  5. Increasing visibility is key: Creating greater visibility, awareness and signposting services offered across the industry is critical.
  6. Collective effort is always more impactful: Learning and driving change as a collective industry will help deliver results more quickly.

More information on these “change driver themes” can be found here.

Following the positive feedback from the series so far and the desire from attendees and charities to continue to drive change, we are looking forward to the final forum in our three-part series on 19 March 2024. Registration is now open to new joiners - if you would like to attend, please contact

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