Danske launches outreach programme to support vulnerable customers

Danske Bank has launched a ‘Check In and Chat’ outreach programme to provide additional support to some of its most vulnerable customers during the coronavirus crisis.

The Bank has set up a team dedicated to proactively calling older customers who are self-isolating for a prolonged period and may not have family or friends nearby to help, or may be feeling lonely.

The purpose of the calls is to check the customer has the essentials they need to get by and then to have a conversation and just spend time with the customer.

More than 250 calls were made in the first week.

Danske has also launched a new Step by Step guide to help older and more vulnerable customers to access banking services from home, or consider alternatives to visiting a teller in a branch.

Richard Caldwell, MD of Personal Banking, said: “The Check In and Chat team are all based at home during this period. They proactively phone customers to ensure they have the essentials they need to get by and then open up a normal conversation on whatever topic comes up, just spending a bit of time with the customer. We could be the only person our customer speaks to that day because they are keeping themselves away from others.

“We have found that some customers need a bit of extra support, and we are helping those customers by signposting them to organisations like Age NI.  If the customer has a banking issue then we then move on to the chat, and topics of conversations have ranged from baking and gardening to TV and everything in between.

“This initiative is about looking after our customers’ health and wellbeing rather than just their finances, and bringing some company and conversation into what might otherwise be a very long and lonely day.”

The move is the latest in a number of measures Danske has introduced to support vulnerable customers including dedicated telephone numbers for older customers and for NHS, Care and Emergency workers, and dedicating the first hour of branch opening for our vulnerable customers, including the elderly and those in immediate need of financial support.

Unfortunately, criminals see the uncertainty and worry around coronavirus as an opportunity to scam people out of their money or information and ultimately profit from the situation which is currently presented to us all.

Richard added:

“We’d like to remind all our customers that we would never ask them to divulge any sensitive information to us during these, or any other calls from the bank.  Information such as PINs, passwords and codes which we might have sent by text message should never be divulged to a third party, and that includes us. Other legitimate companies such as Amazon, BT, the PSNI or HRMC would also never call and ask for this information, nor would any of these organisations ask customers to download remote support software onto their PC or mobile devices.”

More information about the dedicated helplines, the Step by Step guide and other support measures in place for customers can be found at danskebank.co.uk/coronavirus