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Financial Abuse

10 October 2018

Our 'My Money, My Life' Campaign Success as new code of practice.

To support victims of financial abuse launches

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In 2015 we launched a joint campaign with Refuge; a women and children’s charity against domestic violence; to shine a light for the first time on the scale of financial abuse in the UK. Today we are able to mark the success of that campaign as the UK finance industry launches a new code of practice and encourages all banks to better support victims of financial abuse.

Our ‘My Money, My Life’ campaign highlighted that 18 per cent of all adults in the UK have been a victim of financial abuse in a current or past relationship and, 30 per cent of people knew somebody who had experienced financial abuse in a relationship.

The campaign research also found that victims of financial abuse could be any gender, any age and from any walk of life; however, 60 per cent of all cases are reported by women, with financial abuse rarely occurring in isolation as 82 per cent of financial abuse victims have also been a victim of other forms of abuse in their relationship. Alarmingly; 34 per cent of all victims who have experienced financial abuse have kept silent and told no-one of their abuse.

In our campaign we called for action from the finance industry to better support victims of financial abuse and now, after working with the industry; other banks and building societies and a number of key consumer groups; a new Financial Abuse Code of Practice has been launched; a great success for our campaign, and more importantly a real positive change that will benefit those who are suffering or have suffered as a result of financial abuse.

We are really proud that our joint campaign with Refuge resulted in a Financial Abuse Code of Practice that will make a real difference to people who are vulnerable and in a situation which they need help and support to get out of. We also want to thank all our customers and everyone who got behind this campaign and played a part in making these important changes happen.

UK Finance; the industry body for financial services companies, has launched the new Financial Abuse Code of Practice Financial Abuse Code of Practice PDF which all major banks have signed up for. This code will increase awareness of financial abuse amongst bank and building society workers; providing guidance and information to help them identify potential victims of financial abuse and ensure they provide the right help and support to those that need it.

It’s also hoped that by launching the code more people will be encouraged to seek help and support from their bank or building society if they are suffering from financial abuse.

The main points the Code of Practice covers are:

  1. Raising awareness and encouraging victims to come forward
  2. Training financial services workers to help and support customers who are financial abuse victims;
  3. Helping workers identify and appropriately respond to customers who are suffering from financial abuse
  4. Minimising the need for a victim to repeat their story to workers at their bank or building society
  5. Help a victim to regain control of their finances
  6. Signposting help for victims and referring them for more support if they need it

Financial Abuse Code of Practice PDF

Over the next 12 months the financial services providers that have signed up to the code will ensure time and resource is dedicated to training their workers so they are able to identify and then offer information and support to the customers that need it. As well as making any changes to their processes that will make it easier for financial abuse victims to get help.

We will be working with our teams here to ensure that we have all the support, training and resources available as soon as possible to support our customers who turn to us when they are in a very vulnerable situation, and also doing even more to identify customers who may need our help.

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