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HSBC UK first bank to receive ‘Inclusive Environments Recognition’ from CIC

Posted: 10th January 2024

CIC is pleased to award HSBC UK with ‘Inclusive Environments Recognition’ certification at both organisational and project level. HSBC UK is the first bank to be awarded this honour, recognising the importance of inclusive design in providing accessible banking services and workspaces to customers and colleagues encompassing a diverse range of people needs.

CIC’s Inclusive Environments Certification Recognition is awarded to organisations which demonstrate they follow the CIC Essentials Principles Guide for Clients, Developers and Contractors in creating an accessible and inclusive environment. The Guide sets out six guiding principles that can be applied from project inception and strategic definition, through preparation and brief, procurement and tender processes to appraisal of final outcomes.

Graham Watts, CIC Chief Executive, applauds this recognition, saying:Congratulations to HSBC UK, the first private sector body to receive Inclusive Environments Recognition at Organisational Level. It is inspiring to see HSBC UK leading the delivery of accessible and inclusive branches and workplaces within their industry and we look forward to seeing this with future submissions at project level.”

Jane Muir-Sands, HSBC’s Global Head of Corporate Services, welcomes the certification, saying: “Inclusive design is about accounting for the diversity of people and considering how they will interact with the spaces and features we create. This achievement recognises the progress we’ve made as part of HSBC’s global financial inclusion strategy, and our aim is to ensure all new HSBC buildings and branches around the world are fully accessible and inclusive for our customers, colleagues and wider communities we serve.”

Case study: HSBC UK opens doors of its most accessible branch ever
HSBC’s new standards for accessibility and inclusion are reflected in the design of HSBC UK’s new flagship Sheffield City Centre branch. Awarded CIC project level certification in December 2023, it opened its doors to customers on 18 December 2023.

Designed with customers in mind to go beyond aesthetics, the new branch design is focused on the areas that matter most - accessibility, wellbeing and state-of-the-art technology to make things quicker and easier for customers and colleagues. Wider doorways, height-adjustable desks, mobility scooter parking, new braille signage including on handrails, quiet zones and a sensory room are making it easier for people visiting with children or with neuro-diverse requirements. ‘On-demand’ voice guidance is also being piloted for visually impaired customers, helping them navigate to the areas they wish to visit.

Oli O’Donoghue, Managing Director of HSBC UK’s Branch Network, says: “Our new Sheffield branch is the second we have opened this year and has been designed with the customer at its heart, setting a very high standard for what customers can expect from an HSBC UK branch going forward. By prioritising customer accessibility and wellbeing, we are ensuring a welcome and seamless banking experience for customers of all abilities and needs in Sheffield.”

Raising the bar on customer accessibility and wellbeing, it is creating a blueprint for sustainable branch design for HSBC globally going forward.

For further information on CIC scheme please click here.