What to expect when you call our support team

If you're facing financial difficulties, we know it can seem daunting to reach out and ask for help. Talking about your financial situation is an important and courageous first step, and there are lots of ways you can seek support.

As a bank that cares about our customers, we work with them to provide the support they need, whatever their circumstances. We understand that debt problems are common and can happen to anyone for a wide range of reasons.

If you’re a customer of The Co-operative Bank, you can contact our support team to receive tailored, one-to-one support.

To help you understand what to expect during the call, we’ve put together a checklist of the different stages we have in place to support you, every step of the way.

What to do before the call

Gather together any information that would help us to give you the support you need. This could include information about your income and savings (such as payslips, Universal Credit statements, bank account statements), as well your outgoings and current debts (such as mortgage statements, bills).

It’s helpful to make a note of the financial issues that are causing you the most concern and any repayment arrangements you've already agreed elsewhere. We can support you in regards to your accounts held with The Co-operative Bank or smile.

We can also help you access free and impartial debt advice via specialist organisations such as StepChange and Citizens Advice that can help to find the right solutions for your overall financial situation.

Who will I speak to?

An experienced, friendly colleague who will listen to your individual circumstances and help you find the right solutions. Once we understand your financial circumstances, we can review any debt you have with us and work with you to see which repayment option would be most suitable.

We will offer support and guidance and if needed, we can refer you to a specialist organisation such as StepChange and Citizens Advice for further support.

What is an I&E?

I&E stands for income and expenditure. It is a process that our customer support team will run through with each caller to understand the income you receive, along with all outgoings such household bills, all debt owed and any other expenditure you pay each month.

How do you find solutions that will help me?

First and foremost, we listen to you. We have a conversation to make sure that we understand your individual circumstances and the financial issues that are causing you concern. We will review your monthly income and deduct your essential bills so that you can see what you can afford to pay towards your debts.

Once this is calculated, you will better understand what money you have available to pay towards your debts, including any debt held with us. This will allow you to deal with your debt so that you can start to take control of your finances again.

What solutions can you offer someone in financial difficulty?

Our support team can offer a range of plans that are tailored to support you based on your individual circumstances. Any repayment arrangement will also include consideration of the level of interest applicable and whether we need to reduce this in view of your financial circumstances.

It’s important to remember that some of these plans will have an impact on your credit report and our support team can explain these implications in advance. We can also offer support on ways to manage your budget, including how to find savings from your monthly outgoings and other ways to keep on top of debt.

How to get in touch

If you're experiencing financial difficulties, you can visit our dedicated financial support page for other queries and to access more resources.

You can also get in touch by:

Lines are open 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm Saturday and Sunday.

Other resources and support

You might find further support in this article on how to manage your finances in tough times.

As an ethical bank that cares about our customers, we also work with a number of charities and organisations that can provide further support to those experiencing financial difficulties and other challenging times. You can read more about financial support partners and other helpful services here.

Not found what you're looking for?

Contact our support team