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HSBC, First Direct launch sign language system

Two British banks – HSBC and First Direct – have launched a British Sign Language Video Relay Service (VRS) for their customers in the country. The technology allows deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users to communicate with their bank via an on-screen interpreter who then relays the information to a customer service advisor in spoken English. The initiative follows research showing 29% of deaf and hard of hearing adults were not inclined to use service providers such as banks, building societies and utility companies due to a lack of access. The VRS is available on the websites of both banks.

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