An accessible experience for all


National Bank and its subsidiaries are committed to offering a simple and personable experience for all our clients. To achieve this, we are continuously improving the accessibility of our products and services to meet the needs of all our clients, including those with special needs or limitations.

If you need help regarding our products or our site for accessibility reasons, please contact us at 1–888–300–9004.
 

Accessibility in our digital platforms

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have been developed to guide and assist companies to make content on their sites accessible to all. We are working to optimize the accessibility of our sites by applying these rules on an ongoing basis.

We have mandated experts to test the accessibility and compliance of our sites.

Here are the tools used to perform these tests:

Browsers

- Google Chrome 86
- Firefox 83
- Safari 11
- Microsoft Edge 87

General test tool

- Axe 4.6

Text-to-speech tools

- VoiceOver 10 on macOS
- Narrator on Windows 10

Tool to check the contrasts

- Colour Contrast Analyser 3.0.1

Tool to check colours

- Sim Daltonism 2.0.5

In light of these tests, we noticed that some elements may limit the accessibility of our sites. We are continually improving our sites to make them accessible as soon as possible.
 

Accessibility of our services

All our employees must respect, at all times, the principles of dignity, autonomy, integrity and equal opportunity. They have access to training material to help them understand the legal accessibility requirements for products and services.

Well-equipped, we are committed, among other things, to:

- Sharing concise information using different means of communication.
- Asking our clients if they need help using our services.
- Prioritizing any requested changes to accommodate clients with limitations.
 

Branch accessibility

In 1992, the Bank1 made a commitment to the Canadian Human Rights Commission to ensure its branches and other buildings comply with universal accessibility standards. When renovating or designing premises, we apply the most rigorous standards in effect. Today, more than 95% of our buildings are accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

Unfortunately, we can't renovate certain heritage buildings, residential buildings and branches abroad. In these rare cases, we assist clients with reduced mobility when they visit the branch. In the coming years, we'll work to apply the Seniors Code by removing barriers to access for persons with physical and cognitive limitations.

Here are some of the measures put in place:

- Parking: When renovating or designing branches with parking spaces, we ensure compliance with applicable provincial standards and provide at least one parking space reserved for people with reduced mobility near the entrance (width, length, clearance, curb cuts, signage, etc.).

- Access ramps: Most of our branches have level access2 or are accessible by elevator. Where required, we install an outdoor or indoor ramp to ensure compliance with accessibility standards (space permitting).

- Automatic door openers: Since 2001, when renovating or designing premises, we install automatic door openers with push buttons for the area accessible to clients 24/7 (the ABM area). If a branch does not have an automatic door opener and we have a client with reduced mobility, we can assess the option of adding one based on impact and the work required, as long as the architectural features of the building allow it. 

- Vestibule: When renovating or designing premises, we ensure the space inside the vestibule is accessible for persons in a wheelchair.

- ABMs:

  • The ABM manufacturer must meet international accessibility standards. The screen, buttons and card slots used for depositing/withdrawing cash and printing slips and statements must be at a certain height.

  • Our ABMs are at an appropriate height and easily accessible to persons with reduced mobility.

  • All our ABMs are equipped with a support bar that meets CSA standards3 for persons with reduced mobility.

  • All our ABMs have headset jacks for persons with visual impairments.

  • The characters on ABM keyboards have been enlarged and the centre key is easily identifiable.

- Reception counter and collaborative table: Reception counters at branches include a lower section that allows persons with reduced mobility to sign documents. When designing or carrying out major renovations at the National Bank Financial branches and our other subsidiaries, we also ensure compliance with the standards in effect.

- Teller stations (counter): All branches have at least one teller station dedicated to persons with reduced mobility. Certain architectural details help make these teller stations suitable for persons with reduced mobility. The Bank is committed to adapting the teller stations used by employees to any physical limitations set out in a medical report issued by a healthcare professional.

- Areas with traffic: When renovating or designing premises, we ensure corridors are unobstructed, meet regulatory standards for width, and provide enough space for persons with reduced mobility to open interior doors. 

- Toilets: When renovating or designing premises, we comply with the code in effect by installing at least one accessible toilet that meets the strictest requirements for universal accessibility. Since 2015, when renovating or designing branches in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, we have included adult changing tables (in accordance with Bill C-81 and The Accessibility for Manitobans Act). For National Bank Financial branches and corporate buildings where the toilets are located in a space shared by all tenants, the landlord is responsible for ensuring compliance when redesigning the space.

- Break rooms: When renovating or designing premises, we ensure sanitary facilities, appliances and traffic areas comply with accessibility standards, in terms of layout and minimum clearances. 
  
For individuals with a service animal:

- Service animals are permitted to access our premises.

- We undertake not to interact with these animals without the permission of the owner or handler.

For clients assisted by a support person:

- Our clients can be assisted at any time by a support person when they are on our premises. 
- We allow support people to attend meetings if the client wants them there. 
- We ask the client if they agree to share confidential information in the presence of the support person. 
- We make sure that the client is making decisions, not the support person.

The Premises Department is committed to complying with the strictest codes and standards in effect: when renovating or designing premises, professionals (architects and engineers) must belong to a professional order and comply with the federal, provincial and municipal building codes in force in the city where work is being carried out.

 

Main building codes that must be followed

National Building Code of Canada 2015

Loi sur le bâtiment du Québec

Ontario’s Building Code

The Accessibility for Manitobans Act

 

Seniors Code to be applied

Code of Conduct for the Delivery of Banking Services to Seniors

Act to combat maltreatment of seniors and other persons of full age in vulnerable situations

 

CSA Standards

Accessible design for the built environment (PDF document)

Normes de conception sans obstacles (PDF document) 

 

Accessibility for current and future employees

Diversity in the workplace is important and we value it in all its forms. Our goal is to provide an open and respectful work environment where each employee can develop their full potential.

We invite you to discuss your limitations (physical, visual or other), in the first communication during your recruitment process. The premises can be set up and adapted to be accessible, including the equipment provided.

Our accommodation program also considers the needs of our employees:

  • Workplace layout and accessibility
  • Access to adapted equipment
  • Modification of tasks taking into account the employee's limitations
  • Flexibility about absences due to medical reasons 

We value diversity and inclusion for all our employees. To see how we've been able to rank among the best Diversity Employers.

 

To help us improve the accessibility of our products and services, make a suggestion or tell us about an issue, visit this page
 
Contact us
By phone: 1-888-300-9004
By email: ombudsman.clients@nbc.ca
By mail: Office of the National Bank Ombudsman for Clients PO box 275 Montreal, Quebec H2Y 3G7

 

1The term Bank refers to all buildings managed by National Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries. 

2Level access means that the height difference between the sidewalk and the threshold is less than 1/2 inch, allowing a person with reduced mobility to access the premises without difficulty.

3CSA (Canadian Standards Association) standards determine the distance between the screen and the support bar, the diameter of the bar and the existence of a non-slip section to ensure a good grip.