P&N Bank opens new ‘inclusive’ branches

The new locations feature design improvements aimed at inclusivity

P&N Bank opens new ‘inclusive’ branches

P&N Bank has recently opened two new branches at Karrinyup and Carousel shopping centres in Western Australia, enhancing accessibility to financial services for customers.

The locations feature design improvements aimed at inclusivity, particularly for individuals with disabilities and neurodiverse customers.

The branches include sensory-sensitive spaces where lighting and sound can be adjusted to create a calming environment. Other features include iPads loaded with children’s games, accessible service desks, and wall-mounted TV screens positioned for visibility from a wheelchair.

The new branches also boast self-serve banking technology and a community wall displaying artwork by local artists.

“Everyone deserves to have access to banking services, and at P&N Bank, we are striving to create an inclusive banking and financial experience for everyone, no matter who they are or where they have come from,” said Angela Newland (pictured above right), general manager at P&N Bank, named Bank of the Year in the 2023 Roy Morgan Annual Customer Satisfaction Awards.

“We have worked with community consultants who, during the design process, provided feedback on how to make our branch more accessible and inclusive.

"Off the back of their insights, we've made several improvements to our branch design. A localised branch presence remains a big part of our commitment to customers, with 12 P&N branches servicing locations across WA, and we’re excited to begin making more of our branches more accessible in the future.”

Clare Gibellini (pictured above left), co-chair of the oversight council for Australia’s National Autism Strategy and one of the community consultants, said it was refreshing to see a Western Australian organisation resist the trend towards entirely digital services, which can often overlook the specific needs of their customers.

“I want to congratulate the P&N Bank team for their commitment to true inclusiveness for all their customers,” Gibellini said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team right from the early design phase to identify the needs of the neurodiverse community and build in changes that ultimately will benefit a wide range of people.”

“It’s a clear message to us that we are as valued and welcomed as any other customer of the bank and, to be honest, that can be a rare thing.”

Andrew Fairbairn (pictured above centre), president and WA state director of Physical Disability Australia, who also served as a consultant on the project, highlighted a common oversight in corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.

He pointed out that without the active participation of disabled individuals in the development process, companies might not effectively meet the needs of people with disabilities and emphasised the necessity of including disabled voices to ensure that the outcomes of such initiatives are genuinely beneficial and inclusive.

“Asking questions says that an organisation wants to learn,” Fairbairn said. “Listening to the answers, contemplating them, and then actioning them says the organisation not only wants to learn, but wants to change for the better.

“P&N Bank saw a gap, consulted with people with disability, built the results of the consultation into the design, and created a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible banking experience. It was a pleasure to work with an organisation that really wants to change; P&N wanted to understand and took note of my experience.”

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