Alex Bank staff get ‘sensitivity’ training before calling in Covid debts Financial firms are under pressure to ensure they are acting sensitively and flexibly when speaking to vulnerable customers By Lucy Burton 19 April 2021 • 7:39am Bank staff are undergoing “sensitivity” training in an effort to avoid adding further pressure to the UK’s mental health crisis as they prepare to call in loans issued during the pandemic. Hundreds of workers at major banks including HSBC, NatWest and Metro Bank are understood to be receiving training in how to deal with vulnerable customers and “demonstrate empathy” as the first wave of repayments for coronavirus loans fall due. HSBC, which now has 400 staff in its debt collection team, said the aim was to ensure staff had a “consistent understanding of vulnerability” and are “aware of the factors that could make an individual vulnerable” when having repayment conversations with customers. An executive at another bank said its expanded debt collection team was being trained in “empathy, vulnerability and listening skills”. […] As a result, banks will be under pressure to ensure they are acting as sensitively and flexibly as possible when speaking to vulnerable customers.
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