Following the Union’s recent Newsletters, TSB has issued further guidance to branches on COVID-19 which is a small step in the right direction but doesn’t go far enough in protecting staff and customers.
Carol Anderson, Director, Branch Banking TSB has said “We have had a number of questions about whether we should still have customers coming into our branches for interviews. And the answer is yes, if that’s. what they need”. Ms Anderson goes onto say: “We should ensure that pre calls are held with customers who have pre booked appointments to make sure they are OK and are not experiencing any symptoms”. Who determines whether it’s right for the customer to visit the branch? Branch staff are not clinicians but they are being asked to determine if it’s safe for customers to leave their homes to visit branches? The Government’s suppression strategy is about reducing contact rates through social distancing not encouraging them and it’s hard to have social distancing in a branch environment? Moreover, there will some customers and, to be honest, TSB staff for that matter who may be asymptomatic (a person with the virus who shows no symptoms) so the bank should not be asking customers to visit branches for appointments. All customer interviews that are booked in should be cancelled immediately or done over the phone. No further interviews should be arranged with customers. To allow such interviews to continue is not acting in the best interests of the wider community. And let’s be clear, there is nothing being discussed in these interviews that’s more important than the safety of customers and staff. TSB has already stopped face-to-face training of staff because of the potential to spread the virus so why not interviews with customers?
Ms Anderson should read the research published by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, and then do the right thing quickly.
Members with any questions on this should contact the Union’s Advice Team on 01234 716029 (choose Option 1).