Evidence on Disabled people’s financial exclusion

Inclusion London submitted evidence to the Lords Select Committee on financial exclusion. Read our recommendations…

Below is a summary of the issues raised together with our recommendations:

Summary of issues and recommendations


  • Deaf people are unable to access savings account due to the lack of accessible information.
  • Deaf people do not understand bank statements or bank charges so get into debt.

Recommendation 1: When a Deaf person opens an account, bank statements and bank charges are explained to the Deaf person via a BSL interpreter. Banks provide a BSL interpreter for Deaf people to translate information on savings accounts.  This would be a ‘reasonable adjustment’ on the part of the banks.

Recommendation 2:  Banks assist with setting up an arrangement to enable an advocate, to assist Deaf person with their banking affairs.  The Bank would need to monitor the arrangement for fraud just as they monitor ‘unusual activity’ on all accounts.


  • Bank charges tip many people that have a small amount of debt into ever deepening financial difficulties.

Recommendation 3: Bank charges for those that are over drawn are re-considered.


  • It is not appropriate for banks to insist/rely on telephone contact with a Deaf person because it is not accessible
  • Lack of accessible communication forces a Deaf person to share their financial details so compromising confidentiality.

Recommendation 4:  As a ‘reasonable adjustment’ all banks should put an accessible communication system in place that enables Deaf people to communicate easily with them, especially when a transaction needs to be verified. Telephone contact should not be used with Deaf people.

Recommendation 5: Banks and other financial services make reasonable adjustments to ensure that Deaf and Disabled people do not have to share their personal finances with a third party.


  • banks requiring a credit or debit card to be activated at an ATM

Recommendation 6: All banks allow new credit and debit cards to be activated by telephone, or another secure method, which doesn’t involve a journey to an ATM.


  • Lack of local branches cause Disabled people difficulties in accessing banking services due to difficulties with travelling.
  • There are higher charges for telephone services than online services, which not all Disabled people are able to access.

Recommendation 7: A reasonable adjustment is made so that telephone services are not more expensive when online services are not accessible to a Disabled person.


  • Refusing a Disabled person a contactless card

Recommendation 8: All banks provide contactless debit cards, when requested by Disabled people as a reasonable adjustment if necessary.


  • A Disabled person is being denied a bank account in their own name.

Recommendation 9: Banks need to adhere to the rights to equal access to services under the Equality Act.


  • Banks are not providing  debit and credit cards that do not have contactless technology, when requested by a visually impaired person.
  • PIN numbers are not sent in Braille for the new credit or debit card after being requested by a visually impaired person.

Recommendation 10: Banks provide debit and credit cards that do not have contactless technology, when requested by Disabled people.

Recommendation 11: PIN numbers are sent in Braille for the new credit or debit card after the first request.

Download the full response below:

Financial exclusion inquiry-Inclusion London’s evidence