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Lloyds offers guidance to financial abuse victims

Lloyds offers guidance to financial abuse victims

Lloyds Banking Group is launching a customer support service to help customers who are victims of financial, economic and domestic abuse.

The service will provide guidance to Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers on how to manage joint accounts, options for opening new accounts, and advice on dealing with debts such as loans or mortgages.

Lloyds has also changed its terms and conditions to allow a party to be removed from a joint account where one of the account holders has been the victim of financial abuse.

Economic abuse occurs when one partner has control over the other partner's access to financial resources, resulting in the victim being unable to support themselves and having to depend on the abuser financially.

Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money. It can include using credit cards without permission, putting contractual obligations in their partner’s name, and gambling with family assets.

Lloyds has worked with specialist charities Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) and Tender to design training for the service team to help them recognise signs of abuse and the financial challenges that victims face.

The service team will be located in Newport, South Wales, and available to customers through a dedicated telephone line.

Fiona Cannon, responsible business, sustainability and inclusion director at Lloyds, said it was important for banks to raise awareness of financial abuse.

Ms Cannon said: “The introduction of the specialist support team to help victims of financial and economic abuse is an important next step in both raising awareness and supporting our customers. 

“We believe it is essential that customers know that they can speak to us and we have a specialist team that can support their personal situation.”

Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, director of Surviving Economic Abuse, said: "Financial services have a crucial role to play in tackling economic abuse and this is a brilliant example of the work being rolled out across the industry. 

“It's fantastic to be working with Tender on training Lloyds Banking Group staff on how to better recognise the specific challenges victim-survivors face. 

“This will encourage them to come forward and be supported to achieve the economic stability that they need."

amy.austin@ft.com

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