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22 August 2016

Santander Consumer Finance Supports Deaf Customers With The Launch of SignVideo

For immediate release:  22nd August 2016

Today, Santander Consumer Finance (SCF), in partnership with SignVideo, has launched a Video Relay Service, for the British Sign Language (BSL) community.

The service is available for all account servicing, supporting customers with many of their day to day account queries and transactions. The service enables deaf BSL-using customers to place video calls to SCF via a free and secure video link on its website. The video call instantly connects to a BSL interpreter at SignVideo, who then phones the SCF contact centre relaying the conversation in real time.

In the UK there are almost 1 million people who are severely or profoundly deaf, therefore this service will go some way to help create barrier free access to its products and services. As BSL is its own language, with its own grammar and punctuation, it’s important we allow this community to communicate with us in a way that is simple and easy.  With so many people in the UK classing BSL as their first language over English, it’s essential to offer an equal and parallel service to everyone.

Paul Saint, Head of Customer Services at SCF said:

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with SignVideo and the improved service to our British Sign Language customers. This will enable BSL users to contact SCF and talk to us about their needs in their first language and without the need to plan ahead. Our work in providing equal service to all our customers is continuing, and working with SignVideo is a big step forward in helping us achieve this.”

Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo, said:

“We are thrilled that SCF have chosen us to help deliver BSL customer services. The fact that BSL is not based on English and is a language in its own right is often misunderstood. Using text based services like email and web chat for customer services actually creates more of a barrier for us deaf BSL users and as a result, we struggle to gain easy access to help when we need it. There have been some major developments in the finance industry this year in this area, with big brands starting to use our services and recognising the needs of their BSL customers. We would like to invite other UK providers to get in touch with us and see how they can follow the lead of Santander Consumer Finance.”

SignVideo provides British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting services to enable communication between the community of over 150,000 deaf BSL users in the UK and hearing people. The service allows users to make and receive BSL interpreted video calls so that they can effectively and effortlessly communicate with each other. This happens through a professional video interpreter who relays the call between BSL and English and the service is available instantly on tablets, smartphones, computers and laptops via apps and software.

Born in 2004, SignVideo is led by Jeff McWhinney, a well-known deaf entrepreneur who fights tirelessly for equality of the deaf and hearing community. Today, SignVideo, a predominantly deaf-led organisation, provides their service to the government, NHS, councils, UK banks, telecommunications providers, helplines and many other types of organisations.

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About Santander Consumer Finance

Santander Consumer Finance provides a range of highly competitive products designed for purchase of personal, business and leisure vehicles. Our finance and related solutions are distributed through major motor manufacturers and a network of dealers via more than 4000 points of sale across the UK. We are the UK’s leading independent finance company and currently have over half a million live customer agreements. Santander Consumer Finance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Santander UK plc, a leading financial services provider in the UK offering a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in respect of agreements regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and for general insurance mediation activity. In addition, we are a member of the Finance & Leasing Association and we meet all of the standards set out in their Lending Code.

Media enquiries: Shane Martin. Tel 01908 971 399