The British Bankers’ Association is bringing in a code of practice for its members to help support bereaved families.
The trade body says its new bereavement principles will help cut bureaucracy for relatives of its personal banking customers after a death and provide a more sensitive service to them. The Building Societies Association’s members have also signed up to the initiative.
The new code says banks and building societies will:
- Allow payments from the deceased’s accounts to cover any funeral bill, probate fees, or inheritance tax
- Improve empathy skills and knowledge training for staff
- Trial a system that alerts a death to all relevant and participating financial firms
The groups and firms signed up are Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, M&S Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander, Nationwide Building Society and and the BSA’s others members.
The new code will come into force at the end of 2016.
BBA bereavement working group chair Mandy Griffin, from Nationwide Building Society, says: “The new bereavement principles will give greater support to families at the most distressing time and make the process of notifying financial organisations of the death of a loved one much easier.
“Our aim is to make sure we deal sensitively with bereaved families and help them deal with the deceased financial affairs as quickly as possible.”
BBA chief executive Anthony Browne says: “Following the death of a friend or family member, the last thing anyone wants to deal with is closing and settling bank accounts, but the new bereavement principles will help to further reduce stress and offer a more sensitive service to customers.”