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The unveiling of P&N Bank’s two new branches at the Karrinyup and Carousel shopping centres marks a new era in access to inclusive financial services and support for West Australians.

With 4.4 million Australians living with disability, and an estimated one in seven people identifying as neurodiverse, P&N engaged two community consultants with lived experience to advise on ways to make the branches more accessible and inclusive. 

Off the back of their feedback, P&N has made a range of improvements to its branch design to allow for an inclusive and accessible customer experience, including:

  • offices with a sensory sensitive space, where the lights can be dimmed and music turned down to provide a quieter and less stimulating environment for neurodiverse customers
  • iPads with kids’ games available for kids whose parents are in the branch for an extended period of time with a variety of games to keep them entertained
  • an accessible service desk
  • wall mounted TV screens to make sure the line of site is accessible for wheelchair users
  • in-branch self-serve banking technology
  • a new safe space community wall that showcases local WA artists with different backgrounds and experiences
  • bespoke reconciliation artwork on display.

General Manager P&N Bank, Angela Newland said P&N’s commitment to making its branches, customer service channels and digital banking tools easy to access for all customers had taken another step forward with the opening of the new Karrinyup and Carousel branches.

“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,” Ms Newland said.

“Whether that’s through our products and services, our experienced teams, or offering accessible digital banking options, we want to provide an inclusive experience for everyone who wants to bank with us.”

One of the community consultants on the project, Clare Gibellini, who is the Co-Chair of the Oversight Council for Australia’s first National Autism Strategy, said it was refreshing to see WA-based organisations such as P&N bucking the trend of services moving to purely digital formats, disconnecting them from the needs of their customers.

“I want to congratulate the P&N Bank team for their commitment to true inclusiveness for all their customers. 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,” Ms Gibellini said. 

“I strongly encourage other companies to pay attention to what’s been created and begin asking the same questions that P&N have, namely ‘what are we doing to make our products, services, and customer experiences accessible to everyone? Are people being excluded and if so, how do we fix that?’. It doesn’t necessarily have to be big, overwhelming changes, but it absolutely makes the world of difference to us.”

Andrew Fairbairn, who also consulted on the project and is President and WA State Director Physical Disability Australia, said companies may think they are on the right track with Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, but if there are no disabled voices being listened to and heard, then what is developed, planned and executed may not, in reality, work for people with disability.

“Asking questions says that an organisation wants to learn. 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. We don't know what we don't know and by asking, we find out what we don't know,” Mr Fairbairn said.

“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.”

P&N Bank was recently named Bank of the Year 2023 in the Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards. Underpinned by data from real people sharing their real experiences, over 60,000 Australians were surveyed to find out the companies they dealt with across more than 30 industries and rate how satisfied they were with them.