Unite, a recognised trade union for staff in banks, has called for urgent action to make face coverings mandatory in all bank branches.

Despite staff working tirelessly since the start of the pandemic to keep bank branches open, the workforce continues to often find themselves unprotected on the frontline. Each day workers in banks have their health put in danger because some customers refuse to comply with the legal requirement to wear a face covering before entering an indoor setting.

Dominic Hook, Unite national officer, said: “Unite is increasingly alarmed at the number of customers visiting bank branches without any face covering. Such blatant disregard for bank staff, who as key workers have continued to work in branches throughout the pandemic, is completely disgraceful.

“Unite is calling on the financial services industry to work with government to make sure that the legal requirement for face coverings is enforced in all bank branches as a matter of urgency. The sector should follow the lead of HSBC and crack down on those customers who refuse to comply with the law.

“Given that since March last year customers have been advised to only visit bank branches for a limited number of essential transactions, it beggar’s belief that staff are still having to face customers who have entered branches with no face covering and often for reasons that are not essential.

“The workforce across the financial services sector has shown incredible commitment and dedication during the global pandemic. These staff have worked tirelessly despite potential health risks. It is vital that bank branch staff do not continue to face unnecessary and avoidable risks from customers refusing to consider the danger they may pose.”

ENDS

For further information contact Saba Edwards on 07768 693 953.

Notes to editors

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.