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Banks respond to ageing generation

10th November 2014

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

As the country faces an ageing population, more and more companies are working to cater for this particular consumer base. Banks are the latest to try to adapt to this older customer base, with staff adopting age suits and finding innovative ways to design and adapt products and services for an older generation.

As financial services firms are most exposed to an ageing population, and due to the recent scandals surrounding the mis-selling of products like PPI to elderly customers, banks and related services have been forced to re-evaluate current practices. This includes introducing new products that encourage retirement savings, or offering services in branch to help the elderly learn how to bank online.

Improving offerings for the over 60s is one of the biggest priorities for banks and insurance companies, as over 80 per cent of household wealth in the UK and US is held by those aged 60 and over. For this reason, banks need to do more to cater to the needs of older people, and firms such as Barclays have begun to respond by talking to older customers directly to find out how their banking experiences could be made better.

Improving experiences for the elderly

Using this information, the banks have begun adapting processes and in-store experiences to help cater for those using supportive mobility aids, while also working alongside charities such as Age UK to assist even further. Practical concerns in the branches have been highlighted by staff wearing age simulation suits to see what an in-store experience is like for an elderly customer who may be used to stair lifts at home or aids to help with hearing. By simulating visual impairments and physical impairments, the banks have been able to experience the challenges older people face when using finance services, and can look to adapt their branches as necessary.

The ageing population has challenged many financial firms in other ways too, as the move to digital has alienated some older customers. However, banks are now trying to support these needs. For example, Barclay’s have introduced ‘Digital Eagles’, who offer one-to-one support in branches and tutorials in the community to help older people take advantage of digital services.

Image Credit: Garry Knight (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.