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Finance Latvia Association (Association) that represents a significant share of financial sector’s stakeholders nationwide has developed comprehensive guidelines on accessibility to financial services. In a time of change these guidelines will help the financial sector ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are duly addressed, including individuals with different types of disability or other temporary impairment. These guidelines are part of the Association’s long-term strategy of inclusive customer service and accessibility of financial services to all. The implementation of the proposed solutions will be a long-term and resource intensive incentive and simultaneously a socially responsible commitment that will improve sector’scompetitiveness in the future.  

We are pleased to provide financial institutions with practical recommendations. These guidelines are the result of our joint efforts with experts from organizations representing persons with disabilities and state authorities – the Ministry of Welfare, the Ombudsman’s Office, the Bank of Latvia and the Consumer Rights Protection Centre. The guidelines describe methods and offer solutions for improving physical and digital service environment in long term perspective, making it user friendly and comprehensible to all. Moreover, the members of our Association stand ready to satisfy customer needs and expectations at a much wider scope than anticipated by the legal framework and in doing so, have committed to take a flexible and innovative approach,” Finance Latvia Association Chairwoman of the Board Sanita Bajāre is confident about the efficiency of the guidelines.

The guidelines cover such issues as accessibility of digital services to visually impaired and blind individuals, deaf and hard of hearing individuals and to persons with cognitive limitations. The paper provides recommendations for presenting information and contract writing in easy language, contains hands-on advice for rendering customer service at branch offices and provides guidance on how to organize training and facilitate communication. Special attention is paid to frequently used services, e.g. everyday payments.

“The possibility to freely use one’s finances and take independent financial decisions is of relevance for everyone. I truly hope that these guidelines will be a step ahead towards better mutual understanding and will result in better accessibility of diverse financial services in the near future. These guidelines are the starting point of a dialogue that will be useful not only for persons with disabilities but for the entire society”, Latvian Umbrella Body for Disability Organizations SUSTENTO, Chairwoman of the Board Gunta Anča is pleased with the outcome.

Sabīne Spurķe
E-mail: sabine.spurke@financelatvia.eu
Phone. +371 20604166
Communication Manager

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