Disability and brand purpose in the banking sector

Understanding and delivering brand purpose is a vital way for business to connect with its customers and build loyalty. A keynote highlight at TechShare Pro 2023 was the discussion between Jonathan Castleman from HSBC, and Paralympian and disability campaigner Lord Chris Holmes about what brands need to think about when adopting disability as part of their brand purpose. This includes the benefits of getting it right, and the risks of getting it wrong.

Lord Chris Holmes and Jonathan Castleman at HSBC

They discuss the many benefits of incorporating disability into brand purpose, but also the need to align all key decisions to support that purpose, which includes a clear commitment to digital accessibility for clients and colleagues. This reflects the discussion at our recent webinar about inclusive employee experiences in the banking and finance sector - businesses need to follow through on the brand values they adopt.

How do brands see disability?

Jonathan Castleman (pictured right), is Group Head of Brand and Brand Partnerships at HSBC. Lord Chris Holmes (pictured left) is a Paralympic swimming gold medalist, Director of Paralympic integration at the London 2012 Games, Deputy Chair at Channel Four and disability advocate, to discuss disability brand purpose.

We asked Lord Chris Holmes if brands are keener to be associated with disability inclusion as part of their purpose.

“There's certainly been increased interest, increased involvement and some really interesting brand executions around this area," he explains, "but still, if one compares it to other areas of the protected characteristics, we still have a long way behind. But certainly, things are happening.”

How can the finance and insurance sector be more disability inclusive?

“Thankfully disability inclusion is becoming more mainstream,” says Castleman. "And the most prevalent way we can be inclusive from a disability point of view is through our services, and that meanes our technology.” 

"HSBC's ambition is to be the world's most digitally accessible bank”, he adds. "And our secondary ambition is to give that knowledge away. Because we need to raise the floor, not just the ceiling for us, and that's to our customers, but also more broadly, and we're working with charities and other leaders”.

“What I would say to any business brand who are just starting to think in this space, is to come along, interact, adds Lord Holmes. "People will absolutely talk with you, help you, and support you. Because ultimately, inclusive brands, inclusive businesses, everybody benefits.”

Video: Lord Chris Holmes MBE and Jonathan Castleman, HSBC explore how brands benefit from disability inclusion

Watch the recording from 2022's TechShare Pro.

Join our new disability awareness training course! The course covers how to use technology to remove barriers for a wide range of disabilities including neurodiversity, mental health, sight loss, hearing loss, and physical disabilities.

Find out more about disability inclusion in the workplace