Banking and inclusion in pandemic times
Tuesday 15 June 2021
Bank Austria surveyed people with disabilities to better understand what they experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic and learn from their real needs to improve our services.
UniCredit has a long tradition of supporting inclusion and is a sector leader on this in Austria. 1.4 million people with disabilities live in Austria, making up 18.4 percent of the total population. In order to understand how the pandemic has impacted people with disabilities, Bank Austria, together with its disability partner organisations, conducted a representative survey of 200 people with disabilities.
The results at a glance
Participants said they remained employed throughout the pandemic
Said their financial situation has not suffered as a result of the Covid crisis
said their overall life situation has worsened due to isolation, loneliness, psychological stress, lack of opportunities for exercise, lack of leisure and access to cultural activities
The burdens caused by restrictions
People with disabilities have felt some of the Corona virus-related restrictions more strongly than others, often making their everyday activities a real struggle. For example, wearing protective masks meant lip-reading was not possible while maintaining the required minimum distances was especially difficult for the blind and visually impaired. People with disabilities also suffered from the often longer waiting times for necessary doctor's appointments. In addition, many infrastructures set up to respect distancing rules, were not always barrier-free resulting in negative logistical experiences for many.
The positives of online banking
- 92 per cent of respondents said they use online banking and will continue to do so in the future.
- 65 per cent of all respondents and 74 per cent of UniCredit Bank Austria customers said they wish to continue using online advice services also in the future.
- 65 per cent of people with disabilities surveyed said they have made greater use of online shopping services.
The office and remote work mix
The survey showed a general preference for a balanced mix of working in the office and remote working.
Almost all companies in Austria (93 per cent) offered the home office option during the pandemic, and among the survey respondents, around two-thirds took advantage of this offer.
Nevertheless, 50 per cent of the respondents prefer a mix of office and remote work in the future.
Bank Austria CEO Robert Zadrazil:
"We are proud that our investments in accessibility, digitalisation and remote working have not only benefitted people with disabilities, but all of us. The last year was testament to this because during the different lockdowns, we were all restricted in our freedom of movement and needed such alternatives to carry on with our work and personal lives."