Credit Suisse to make banking services accessible for persons with disabilities

SWITZERLAND: Credit Suisse is running a campaign at its Swiss branches from the start of July to mid-August 2012 to highlight the range of banking services it offers for people with vision, hearing or mobility disabilities, as well as for older people. The campaign marks the fifth anniversary of the Accessibility Initiative launched by Credit Suisse with the aim of making its products and services available to everyone and training its employees to recognize and respond to the needs of people with disabilities.

Credit Suisse logoSince the launch of the Accessibility Initiative in 2007, Credit Suisse has worked continuously to make its banking services in Switzerland barrier-free. The bank assigns high priority to the needs of people with disabilities and elderly people when building or renovating its branches in order to maximize accessibility. Since July 2008, more than 400 talking ATMs have been installed across all regions of Switzerland, and the offering has been enhanced for people with severely impaired vision or people who are blind.

“Our work has raised awareness of accessibility issues not only among clients but also among our employees,” stated Zahra Darvishi, Head of Corporate Citizenship Switzerland at Credit Suisse. “One important aspect of our commitment in this area, beyond our barrier-free products and services, is the training that we provide to employees to make them aware of issues affecting people with disabilities.” Accessible ATMs At more than 400 specially equipped ATMs in Switzerland, people with vision disabilities can withdraw cash or check their account balance. Voice output, which is available in German, French, Italian and English, is triggered automatically when clients plug in their headphones. The ATMs have tactile function keys and are marked with a headphone symbol. For clients with vision with disabilities, Credit Suisse offers bank statements in braille or large print. Credit Suisse’s website and its online banking systems have also been made barrier-free.

At selected locations in Switzerland, more than 50 ATMs have been positioned at a height that makes them easily accessible to wheelchair users. ATMs of this kind are clearly marked with the relevant symbol. In addition, the entrances to our branches and office complexes are being steadily improved and made accessible to people with disabilities.

Sign Language Interpreters and Intermediaries for Individuals with Impaired Hearing Credit Suisse offers clients with hearing disabilities the opportunity to use a sign language interpreter at personal consultations twice a year. Through intermediaries from the Procom Foundation, deaf clients can also access information by telephone and place simple instructions. The intermediary translates the spoken or written exchanges between the client and the bank. Provided that the intermediary is appropriately authorized, it is possible, for example, to check an account balance or order payment slips. Clients can request this service at any branch.

During the campaign that will run from the start of July to mid-August, a brochure about the bank’s barrier-free services will be available at Credit Suisse branches in Switzerland. The Swiss Paraplegics Association, the Swiss National Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and the Swiss Federation of the Deaf have reviewed the campaign prior to its launch.

For more information, visit www.credit-suisse.com.