“Banks have taken a step backwards rather than forward in terms of using the Welsh language.”
Those were the words of the Welsh Language Commissioner when she published a review of banks’ Welsh language services in 2015. The review was based on evidence gathered from the sector and from customers. One consequence of the review was the formation of a forum with the banks to discuss the way forward. This forum has now met five times.
It is worth reminding readers that the banking sector is not included in the current Welsh language legislation. But, as nearly everyone in Wales uses a bank, the Commissioner believes that it is important they increase and promote their Welsh language services.
The Commissioner has identified six priority areas for developing and improving Welsh language provision, namely:
- Online banking and apps
- Social media
- Telephone services
- Face to face services in branches and when branches are closing
- Staff language skills
- Branding and literature
In drawing conclusions about the progress made by banks, the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, said:
“Small steps forward are evident; there has been some progress in key areas and there is now a firmer base for developing Welsh language services in the banking sector.
“But progress is slow and the banks need to do much more to ensure that the people of Wales are able to use the language when dealing with them in the future, whether that’s in writing, online, on the phone or face-to-face.”
Click here to read the Commissioner’s review.
To learn more about introducing the Welsh language to your business, go to welshlanguagecommissioner.wales/hybu