Disability: accessibility, a commitment for BNP Paribas
03.12.2020 | Group
Any type of disability should not be a barrier to accessing the Bank’s infrastructure and services: branches, ATMs, websites, etc. Accordingly, the Group is committed to increasing the physical and digital accessibility of all its contact points with its customers and employees, both in France and internationally. On the occasion of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, 3 December, we look at the Group’s inclusive approach for all and in particular for those with disabilities.
Physical accessibility is at the heart of the Group’s
Since 2004, the physical accessibility of branches has been at the heart the Group’s renovation programmes, a full year before the “Disability” Act of 11 February 2005. By late 2005, thanks to the “Accueil & Services” programme, the Group boasted more than 400 branches and 3,600 ATMs that met the accessibility criteria for people with reduced mobility (PRM). The first voice-guided ATMs for the visually impaired were also rolled out in 2005 to ensure that these “contact points” are accessible to all users with disabilities.
Required works differ from one branch to the next, with specific configurations that often require a review of the architecture of the buildings: installation of removable ramps, adaptation of ATMs, installation of tactile paving, reconfiguration of signage, modification of lighting, etc...
Today, more than 90% of the Group’s branches in France are compliant. “There are still 170 sites to be brought into compliance. The complexity of achieving this varies from branch to branch. Some local situations are extremely complex, but we always try to find solutions to make it happen”, explains Anne Delaire, Head of Nationwide Deployment for IMEX - Parc Immobilier Régions, in charge of compliance with Ad’AP (Programmed Accessibility Agenda) standards for buildings open to the public, in coordination with the BNP Paribas ATM unit in France and the accessibility commissions. No fewer than 110 employees are working to ensure that sites are compliant.
Today, more than 90% of the Group’s branches in France are compliant
BNP Paribas intends to maintain this momentum. The Group is committed to making all of its sites open to the public and its facilities used by the public accessible by October 2021.
Accessibility, around the world...
The BNP Paribas Group is implementing its accessibility policy in all countries where the Bank operates. In Poland, for example, all BNP Paribas Bank Polska branches provide access to a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired. In the United States, the President of Bank of The West, Nandita Bakhshi, defends this vision: “This ‘open-to-all’ approach makes us a more human and collaborative Group. We are committed to cultivating diversity and inclusion so that every client feels welcomed and valued.”
...and on the web
Accessibility is a challenge that is also experienced on digital platforms. Thanks to ongoing monitoring, good practices are identified, and they enable the Group to be part of a continuous improvement process: specific contrast settings, more intuitive navigation, increased font size, etc.
Interfaces are made accessible without impacting their fluidity and efficiency.
In France, to make online services accessible to all, BNP Paribas has adopted Facil’iti, a tool that enables users to customise the display of the mabanque.bnpparibas website according to the nature of their disability - visual or cognitive.
BNP Paribas Fortis provides users of the Easy Banking Website with a larger screen, more visible buttons and voice prompts.
“A wide range of concrete actions to make our services available to all” concludes Robert Cichostepski, Digital Project Manager in charge of digital accessibility within Group Communication.
Photos : ©michael spring / elypse