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People with sight loss can bank on support from Ulster Bank

The changes experienced across society over the last six months have been particularly challenging for blind and partially sighted people.

Image: Ulster Bank staff holding signs of support outside one of their locations

Maintaining social distance when you can’t read the signage or easily judge how far away you are from other people has proved very difficult.

As well as struggling to maintain a safe social distance, new store layouts and temporary barriers have made navigating once familiar places very daunting.

Ulster Bank is the first of the four main banks here to take proactive steps to ensure that the needs of blind and partially sighted customers are being met in the most safe and efficient way. The bank has provided all staff with RNIB’s best practice guidance to support customers with sight loss. They’ve also worked closely with RNIB to develop a video refreshing staff knowledge about the accessibility features already in place within the bank.

RNIB Northern Ireland Director Dr Jacqueline Witherow said:

“The unique challenges of social distancing for blind and partially sighted people have hit hard, with two thirds reporting feeling less independent since lockdown.  We are thankful to Ulster Bank for the measures they’ve taken to educate their staff on how to provide help and support to customers with sight loss. This will enable blind and partially sighted people to bank with confidence, whether in the branch, online or on the phone.”

Terry Robb, Head of Personal Banking at Ulster Bank added that it introduced crucial measures to mitigate against the pandemic that recognised the needs of all customers.

“As we adapted our service offering to protect staff and customers from coronavirus, it was important that our branches and digital banking products remained accessible to our customers who may be living with sight loss. Our goal at Ulster Bank is to provide practical help for what matters and working in close partnership with the RNIB has ensured that these customers can continue to access essential banking services securely and confidently.”

Notes to Editors

All media enquiries can be directed to Laura Cummings at RNIB by emailing: [email protected], or by phoning 07763 579 141; or Claire McKee, JComms to [email protected], or by phoning 07736 881 727.

Accessibility features at Ulster Bank

  • A mobile app with voice over and talk back features.
  • ATMs with earphone and talking functionality and the option to black out customer’s info on screen.
  • Cheque books can come in large print
  • The website and online banking work with all major screen reader software.
  • Accessibility options in iOS and Android for tablet and mobile users.
  • Other features include accessible and audio card readers, larger buttons and communications can come in audio, braille or large print depending on the customer’s needs.