Bank of Ireland today (July 5) announced that they have launched a new Vulnerable Customer Unit (VCU) which provides enhanced support for customers in vulnerable circumstances.
The unit has been designed to be a centre of expertise within the bank and provides banking support to customers facing situations related to age, cognitive impairment, illness and addiction as well as providing support for transgender customers who are transitioning.
“Our vulnerable customer unit will provide expert support and guidance to our frontline customer service colleagues so that issues can be dealt with appropriately and efficiently when they arise,” Laura Lynch, director of customer segments at Bank of Ireland, told the Irish Times adding, “what we’re really trying to do is just keep an eye out, and look around corners, for vulnerable customers”.
The unit is based in Carlow and staffed by eight specialists with experience in retail and community banking. It is part of the bank’s overall financial wellbeing programme, which is aimed at improving the financial wellbeing of every customer.
Since its establishment last month, the unit has already identified and assisted 400 vulnerable customers, mainly across five areas of vulnerability: care needs (about 55 per cent); financial abuse (about 20 per cent); addiction (about 10 per cent); impairment and accessibility (about 10 per cent); and others such as suicide, transgender transition, and no fixed abode (about 5 per cent).
Lynch said, “Over the course of our lives most of us will probably find ourselves in a vulnerable situation, whether due to financial hardship, bereavement, illness, or cognitive impairment as we get older. Bank of Ireland’s commitment to financial wellbeing is not just about helping our customers to manage their money – it’s also about supporting them when they need us most.”
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