Joint statement: Edward John Richards v Santander UK PLC

Santander has recently worked with the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Mr Edward Richards, a customer who is deaf and a British Sign Language user, to further improve access to its services.

Mr Richards uses British Sign Language to communicate and experienced difficulties when using the bank’s telephone banking service to access its services.
 
Working with Mr Richards and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Santander was able to identify a solution to the issue, improving the telephone banking service for customers with hearing difficulties.

Comment from bank: 
 
'The Santander Group is one of the largest banks in the world and we are committed to ensuring that its services are accessible to all of our customers in the same way. Customer care is integral to everything we offer and is taken very seriously. We are proactive in examining the services we provide and in seeking to anticipate potential difficulties that our disabled customers might experience and to make appropriate adjustments.'

'We should like to extend our apologies to Mr Richards as he did not receive the level of service which he can expect as a Santander customer. We are pleased, however, to have worked closely with Mr Richards and the Commission to identify and implement a solution which addresses and resolves his concerns. The difficulties highlighted in this particular case have also been considered by the bank as part of its ongoing review of access to its telephone banking service and its commitment to continually improving access to its services'

Comment from the Commission:

'The Commission is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Santander to enable Mr Richards who is a deaf BSL (British Sign Language) user to access fully the Bank’s telephone banking service.  This was achieved without compromising the bank’s customer security via a straight-forward and inexpensive reasonable adjustment to its usual protocols for telephone banking.  It provides Mr Richards with the same level of service which Santander provides to all its other customers.'

'We hope that Santander will now be able to implement similar reasonable adjustments for other disabled customers who may require them without the need for those customers to involve the Commission.'

Last Updated: 25 Jul 2011