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HSBC launches two initiatives for persons with disability

HSBC Bank Malta plc today launched two other initiatives for persons with disability. The first refers to banking facilities HSBC makes available to these persons, while the second initiative launched today is the translation and publication in Maltese of the booklet published by the UK-based Employers’ Forum on Disability entitled (in Maltese) Klijenti b’Dizabilità u Inti.
This was announced by HSBC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tom Robson. The National Commission for Persons with Disability (NCPD), headed by its President Mr Joe Camilleri, and other main business organisations were invited for the launch of these two initiatives. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Social Policy, Dr Lawrence Gonzi, attended the event.
In his address, Mr Robson said: "HSBC adopts an Equal Opportunities Policy as regards to employment, treatment of employees and customers, installation of suitable facilities and in the provision of banking products and services. The launch of improved loan rates for persons with disability and the booklet "Klijenti b’Dizabilità u Inti" are two among several initiatives taken by HSBC in Malta to respect the dignity of persons with disability and to make it easier for them to receive an excellent service."
"The booklet will be distributed to the local business community and we therefore hope that the benefit to be achieved in providing excellent service to persons with disability will be exponential," said Mr Robson.
"HSBC is highly committed to diversity and equality of opportunity in respect of persons with disability. Apart from the basic fact that HSBC’s Equal Opportunities Policy is communicated to all our employees in various ways, in Malta, HSBC has appointed an official to ensure that the Bank not only complies as much as is reasonably possible with all the provisions of the Equal Opportunities Act, but also to act in a proactive manner and to go the further mile in giving a better service to persons with disability. This resulted in today’s launch of these two initiatives, said Mr Robson.
Earlier on this year, HSBC signed an agreement with the National Commission, through which the Bank committed itself to:
•Provide full accessibility when developing new buildings.
•Endeavour to ensure that premises being refurbished will be accessible to all clients.
•Provide necessary information/notices on suitable alternatives where full physical access is not reasonable.
•Install ATMs which will be accessible to wheelchair users when old ATMs are being replaced by new ones. This process is to be completed within a 5-year period.
•Accept the signature or mark of a blind person without the need for the latter to provide a third party to witness such signature/mark. Instead, both witnesses are to be from among bank staff.
• Provide an Awareness Training Programme to all its employees especially to those who are in direct contact with customers.
• Make every effort to retain employees who become disabled.
• Offer equal opportunities to all its staff including staff development and promotions.
• Provide any reasonable fixture or equipment required by a staff member because of his/her disability within a reasonable period of time.
• Consult with the ETC when recruiting externally so that as far as possible it will recruit disabled persons.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt