With 20% of Australians over 80 affected by dementia and approximately 1 in 20 older people being the target of financial abuse, the finance industry has realised it is crucial that bank employees know how to identify and respond appropriately to signs of dementia in clients.

Capacity Australia, the not-for-profit medico-legal professional education charity, in collaboration with Smart Sparrow, has developed an online education tutorial to help frontline bank staff better identify these potential financial abuse victims.

The Dementia, Financial Abuse and Banking online tutorial, a groundbreaking, simple to use, education tool for the banking industry, effects efficient knowledge translation to staff in a high volume, time-restricted, customer service environment. It runs staff through a range of scenarios and assists them to determine the most careful and respectful way to handle each situation.

Each student follows their own personalised pathway through the scenarios, which have been carefully designed to pinpoint and address common staff misconceptions. The result is better learning outcomes and better time management, as students who know the material progress more quickly, while students who need further time exploring and learning the material are given more content. Typical lesson times therefore range between 10-30 minutes.

Trials with customer service staff from both Common Wealth Bank and National Australian Bank have shown, after just one learning session, a 99% improvement in identification and processing of financial abuse risk cases. This realises a big win for both banks and their clients.

The official release of the tool to the financial services industry follows on from the success of trial in these two major Australian banks, and is endorsed by the Australian Bankers Association (ABA).

“We are now hopeful that all banks and financial services businesses will make this simple, low cost, online education tool a key weapon in better identification and prevention of financial abuse for their customers,” said Associate Professor, Carmelle Peisah, President of Capacity Australia.

At Smart Sparrow, we are humbled that our tools and technology have been able to help address this important social issue.

Read more on UNSW’s website >

David Rowe, Chief Operating Officer