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Media Release

Bank of Melbourne launches dementia-friendly banking

23 July 2018

Bank of Melbourne has partnered with Dementia Australia to become an official dementia-friendly bank to support people living with dementia to stay financially independent for longer.

Bank of Melbourne Chief Executive Michelle Winzer said we want to make banking easier for customers who are impacted by dementia.

“The measures we’re putting in place aim to make banking safer, easier and more accessible for people with this devastating condition, so they can remain financially independent for as long as possible,” Ms Winzer said.

Dementia Australia CEO Maree McCabe said there are more than 425,000 Australians living with dementia, which is expected to increase to more than 1.1 million by 2056.

“Dementia can be an isolating experience, in part, because of the lack of community awareness and understanding of the impact of the condition.  However, there are a number of strategies that can be put in place to minimise that impact,” Ms McCabe said.

In a recent survey conducted by Dementia Australia, 94% of respondents with a diagnosis of dementia felt that they encountered embarrassing situations as a result of their dementia, and more than 96% reported feeling less competent than before they were diagnosed.

“Financial services is one of those areas where we need more awareness and understanding, which is why we are so pleased Bank of Melbourne has come on board to become dementia-friendly,” Ms McCabe said.

Being a dementia-friendly bank means Bank of Melbourne is working to make banking safer, easier and more accessible for those living with this condition. Such as:

  • Bank staff are being trained to recognise, respond and assist customers living with dementia.
  • Branch technology is being upgraded to identify, record and maintain the files of customers who have been nominated as having a vulnerability.
  • Bank of Melbourne and Dementia Australia partnership also enables staff to refer vulnerable customers onto Dementia Australia for further assistance if needed.

Bankers and call centre staff have undertaken training to ensure they have the education and skills required to identify and support a person living with dementia.

“At Bank of Melbourne our aim is to provide customers with the best possible service and we’re proud to be supporting these vulnerable Victorians,” Ms Winzer said.