Lloyds Banking Group employees and National Autistic Society employees outside Lloyds Bank with an Autism Friendly Award certificate

We are delighted that Lloyds Banking Group received our prestigious Autism Friendly Award today, marking their commitment to become the UK’s first autism friendly bank.

We know that autistic people can struggle to manage their own finances and can feel anxious entering a branch or managing their money online. So our charity has been working closely with Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, to improve the customer experience for autistic customers and their families in over 1,600 branches.

In October 2018, Lloyds Banking Group took part in our Autism Hour campaign, demonstrating their commitment to providing an autism-friendly service for autistic people and their families. They educated colleagues in branches about how best to support autistic customers and turned the music off to reduce the sensory impact on customers. The success of the campaign led them to make the commitment to work towards our Autism Friendly Award for their whole service.

To help them achieve their goal, our charity carried out an extensive review of Lloyds Banking Group’s branch and telephone customer service information. This included reviewing branch layouts to make sure that they work for autistic people, ensuring website information was clear and concise, and educating customer facing colleagues to better understand their autistic customers’ needs.

Leo Capella, our autistic Autism Access Specialist, who attended the award ceremony, said: ”As the National Autistic Society’s Autism Access Specialist and a Lloyds Bank customer I’ve been delighted to see the work they’ve done to become more autism friendly.

“My local branch is one of those which has been redesigned since we started working with them. It is well set out, the sensory environment with its low lighting is relaxing to be in, staff are always friendly and I know they’ve got at least a basic understanding of autism and the challenges autistic people can face on the high street.

The small but meaningful changes they have made will help make the banking experience better for myself and the thousands of autistic people like me across the UK.

Jane Harris, our Director of Social Affairs, said:

We are delighted that a major high street bank like Lloyds Banking Group has made a commitment to improve their service to autistic customers and their families.

“There are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK, but too often autistic people feel they cannot use everyday services and shops. Without a good understanding of autism, staff may not be able to communicate properly with autistic people, and other customers may react with judgment rather than empathy if they see people behaving differently.

"We know that it’s often small changes that make the biggest difference to autistic people’s lives. By making changes like introducing autism training for their staff, Lloyds Banking Group will make it easier for autistic customers to use their services. These changes could also help the three quarters of autistic people who want more support in handling their finances.

We need more businesses to follow Lloyd’s Banking Group’s fantastic example and open up their services to hundreds of thousands of autistic people.

On 18 July, the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award was presented to Lloyds Banking Group at their flagship branch in Manchester. (See picture.)

Fiona Cannon, Group Responsible Business, Sustainability and Inclusion Director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “It’s great that our support for autistic customers and colleagues has been recognised with this award. As part of our commitment to helping Britain prosper, it’s hugely important that our services are available to all customers and we can respond to their changing needs.

By working with the National Autistic Society we have made tangible progress to reduce potential areas of distress and anxiety for autistic people and their families.

Find out more about the Autism Friendly Award