Bank secures permits for sun-shades due to long COVID-19 queues

HSBC Malta acts to mitigate effect of socially distanced queues

HSBC Malta, together with support from local councils, has secured the necessary permits to begin setting up temporary structures to provide shade from the sun.

The measures are aimed at assisting the elderly and more vulnerable members of the community who, due to the impact of social distancing requirements, are obliged to queue outside.

Where this is not possible, the bank will be providing customers with sun umbrellas whilst queueing outside branches.

The bank will also be providing anti-bacterial wipes to all those customers who make use of the umbrellas.

The number of people that can be allowed into bank branches remains restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and this means that at times customers will have to wait outside.

“We understand how uncomfortable this can be in the heat of summer, especially for the elderly and vulnerable, and have therefore been working hard to get the permits we need to set up temporary shading and to ensure we can provide shade with umbrellas. Significant progress has been made and some tents have already been erected,” said Crawford Prentice, Head of Wealth and Personal Banking at HSBC Malta.

HSBC also deploys staff wearing red ‘Here to Help’ t-shirts within the self-service area of each of its branches to assist and educate customers in the use ATMs and deposit machines. “This initiative is proving to be popular with customers and is contributing towards making banking easier and more convenient, whilst offering alternatives to traditional branch banking,” Prentice said.

HSBC is encouraging customers to use alternative digital banking methods since the start of the pandemic.

“HSBC appreciates that change can be difficult but in the current circumstances it really does make sense for people to use digital channels as well as ATMs and deposit machines. By doing this, customers can avoid the heat and help keep the community safe.

“While we will continue to provide every possible assistance to customers who visit our branches, I would strongly encourage anyone who may need help or advice on how to use our digital channels to speak to any staff member, especially those wearing a ‘Here to Help’ t-shirt,” Prentice said.