Diversity is a part of our organization’s values; differences are respected and considered assets that allow us to offer our clients better service.
At National Bank, offering all our clients superior service is a priority. This section gives us an opportunity to inform you about the measures taken by the Bank to make its products and services accessible to the general public, especially clients with specific needs.
The Bank and all its subsidiaries are committed to developing policies, practices and procedures that explain the best ways to serve persons with disabilities.
In developing these standards,
the Bank applied the following principles:
- Dignity: Persons with disabilities, regardless of their limitations, are entitled to the same respect and can expect the same level of service as all Bank clients.
- Autonomy: Allow persons with disabilities to do things in their own way, without unnecessary help or interference from our employees.
- Integration: Our products and services are provided in such a way that all persons with disabilities have access to all of them regardless of the channel used by the client. In some cases, it may be necessary to resort to alternate solutions to allow the person to have access to our services.
- Equal opportunity: Persons with disabilities have the same opportunities to benefit from services proposed by the Bank.
To put these accessibility principles into practice,
the Bank has adopted the following concrete measures:
Communication with clients
In their interactions with persons with disabilities, National Bank employees always comply with the principles of dignity, autonomy, integration and equal opportunity. To do so, they undertake to:
- take a client’s disability into account;
- use different communication methods to always make sure that the client understands the information provided and makes informed decisions;
- demonstrate respect by using appropriate vocabulary (e.g., using the term “person with disabilities” instead of “crippled”);
- ask clients if they need support and offer it to them when they use our services.
Information to be provided if service is disrupted
National Bank undertakes to notify all its clients with disabilities of any temporary service disruptions that may affect access to its services. Information posted on the premises and our website will specify:
- the reason for the disruption and its anticipated duration;
- a description of the alternate facilities to be used, if applicable.
Accessibility of documents
The Bank undertakes to provide documents in an alternate format so that clients with disabilities can obtain the information they need.
To make a request, please call National Bank’s Client Ombudsman at 1 888 300-9004.
Service animals and support persons
Persons with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal have access to all of the Bank’s premises, like all clients.
- authorizes the presence of service animals on its premises;
- undertakes not to interact with them without first obtaining permission from the owner or handler of the animal.
Clients accompanied by a support person may be accompanied by this person at all times when they are on the Bank’s premises.
- allows support persons to enter the Bank’s premises;
- authorizes support persons to attend meetings, if requested by the client;
- asks the client if he is willing for confidential information about an account to be disclosed in the presence of the support person;
- makes sure that the client and the support person understand that the support person is there primarily to accompany the client, not to make decisions for him.
Bank employees, who deal with clients and develop policies, practices and processes with regard to accessibility, take courses to learn about the best ways to communicate with persons with disabilities. This training is an integral part of their onboarding and training process.
- makes employees aware of the accessibility requirements for products and services prescribed by law;
- explains how to interact and communicate with persons who have different types of disabilities;
- specifies how to interact with persons who use assistive devices or who need the assistance of a support person or service animal;
- explains how to use assistive devices and interact with clients who use these devices;
- specifies what to do if clients have difficulty accessing our services.
Several years ago, the Bank undertook to make all its branches accessible to persons with disabilities. Today, more than 95% of its branches are accessible to persons with reduced mobility.
Some branches cannot be adapted or only at very great cost; in these rare cases, the employee at the reception desk offers a personalized service to the client and accompanies him while he completes his transaction or obtains the service requested.
Any change requested by a client with reduced mobility is prioritized and a solution found as soon as possible.
Most branches comply with the following eight essential elements:
1. Parking: Municipal standards are met with at least one space for handicapped persons near the entrance.
2. An exterior access ramp is installed when space permits. Otherwise, a ramp is installed inside the branch.
3. Automatic door opener:The main door and the secondary doors to the entrance are equipped with an automatic door opener with push-button.
4. The space inside the entrance is large enough so that a person in a wheelchair can move around easily.
5. We have ABMs at an appropriate height for and readily accessible by clients in wheelchairs.
For visually impaired persons, all ABMs are equipped to receive headsets, characters on the keyboard have been enlarged, and the centre key on the keyboard is raised making it easier to identify other options.
6. Wickets can always be adapted for clients in wheelchairs. The counter is lower and the employee who sits there can properly serve the client. We adapt wickets when requested by a client or branch. Although it is not a standard procedure, if the person at the reception desk has a counter that is at the right height, he can process the transaction for the client.
7. The traffic areas are obstacle free and wide enough to move around safely.
8. The toilets we install comply with the strictest standards for persons in wheelchairs. However, some branches cannot do so due to lack of space.
The Bank invites its clients to share their comments or any information that would help it improve accessibility to its services for persons with disabilities. For more details about the feedback procedure, go to the Complaint Settlement section on the Bank’s website.
You can send us your comments by:
Completing the online form
Contacting the Bank subsidiary concerned