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Your safety
Only take the actions below if it is safe to do so. You are the best judge of whether making any changes might lead to further harm. In an emergency, call 999.

How banks can help

This information explains how your bank or building society may be able to support you if you have experienced economic abuse in the context of domestic abuse. 

“He had access to all of my bank statements and accounts. I didn’t know anything about his finances. For him, it was just another method of control.”

How banks can help – information video

Reporting economic abuse to your bank or building society

Approaching your bank about abuse can be daunting, but your bank or building society could be an important source of information and support. If it is safe to do so, speaking to someone at your bank or building society can help you take steps to regain control of your money. They may be able to suggest ways of de-linking your finances from those of the abuser. They may also suggest ways of ensuring any new banking information is safe and secure to help prevent further abuse. The bank is there to listen and support you. 

Contacting your bank 

There are many ways in which you can contact your bank to tell them about the abuse you have experienced. You can phone the bank or visit the branch in person. Many banks also have the option to share this information with them via their website or app, if you would prefer to do this online. Some have a form you can complete to request a callback at a time that is safe for you.

With a number of high street branches closing, many banks have begun to operate ‘banking hubs’ as an alternative. Find your nearest hub.  

If you are reporting economic abuse to your bank, you may wish to:

  • Make a note, if safe to do so, of the key details you want to explain to the bank so that you don’t forget when you speak to them, especially if you are feeling nervous.   
  • Ask whether you can speak to someone in a team that specialises in supporting vulnerable customers, if they have one. The relevant team may also be called the customer advocacy team, or it could be a general customer care team. A member of this team may have more specific knowledge to support you.  
  • Ask for the conversation to be recorded on your file, so that you don’t have to repeat it in the future.  
  • If you feel safe to do so, ask for the fact you are experiencing abuse to be noted on your file. This means that the bank should not disclose information to the abuser if they contact them, for example if you have a joint account or mortgage.  
  • Ask to continue the conversation at another time if you need a break, or ask to speak to someone else if you are not happy with the service.  
  • Ask to speak to someone privately, if speaking in person, so that your conversation cannot be overheard by other customers.  

The bank has a duty to support you, and you won’t be penalised or blacklisted for reporting abuse and seeking their support.  

You can use our Banking Support Directory to search for your bank or building society. It contains information about the support that many major banks and building societies can offer, and how you can get in touch.

Allied Irish Bank (AIB) – Great Britain

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

  • AIB can support you to remove any third-party access to your account/s.
  • If you are an existing personal customer and have a poor credit score through no fault of your own, AIB may be able to support you to access lending.
  • Personal customers can request to opt out of confirmation of payee. This stops your account details being checked when an individual tries to pay you funds.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

Contact the Additional Support Helpline on 0345 646 0318 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm).

Report a problem

Allied Irish Bank (AIB) – Northern Ireland

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

AIB can support you to:

  • remove any third-party access to your account/s
  • open a personal account in your sole name even if you don’t have access to standard forms of identification.

If you are an existing personal customer and have a poor credit score through no fault of your own, AIB may be able to support you to access lending.

Personal customers can request to opt out of confirmation of payee. This stops your account details being checked when an individual tries to pay you funds.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

Contact the Additional Support Helpline on 0345 646 0318 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm).

Report a problem

Atom Bank

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

Atom Bank has not listed the specific support they can offer to customers who have experienced economic or financial abuse. They have a general support team that may be able to support vulnerable customers with a range of issues.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

  • Contact the main Customer Support Team on 0333 399 0050 (8am–8pm).
  • You can also get in touch via the live chat service on the app.
Report a problem

Bank of Ireland UK

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

Bank of Ireland has a specialist support team that can:

  • support you to separate your accounts
  • freeze joint accounts
  • send you new cards and PINs
  • send correspondence to a safe address
  • change your banking passwords
  • give you information on accounts held with them in you name
  • support you to review your budget and discuss any debts held with them.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

  • Bank of Ireland has an online form you can use to give information about how you would like to be contacted and when it is safe for you to speak. The form allows you to add a safe word which you can use during the call if it is not safe to talk.
  • Customers in Great Britain can Contact the Customer Service Desk on 0345 850 1234.
  • Customers in Northern Ireland can call 0345 6016 157 for general enquiries.
Report a problem

Bank of Scotland

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

Bank of Scotland has a dedicated support team for customers who have experienced financial abuse. They can offer support with:

  • joint accounts
  • opening a new account
  • debts, lending and mortgages
  • important documents you might need.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

  • Contact the dedicated support team for customers who have experienced financial abuse on 0800 1218 278 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm).
  • There is an online form you can complete to ask the dedicated support team to contact you at a time that is safe for you to talk.
  • Support is also available via the app. When logged in, select ‘Support’ and then ‘Message us 24/7’. Type ‘financial abuse’ or ‘domestic abuse’ and then select ‘send’ to go through to an agent.
This bank has a specialist domestic and financial abuse team
Report a problem

Barclays

Financial Abuse Code Signatory

Support available for vulnerable customers

Barclays can provide support with issues including:

  • account security
  • opening a new account
  • changing how you receive statements and letters
  • removing the abuser as a named cardholder from your credit cards
  • removing you from any joint accounts or freezing joint accounts.

Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

Visit website

How to get in touch

  • You can use the online form to specify a time when it’s safe for the bank to contact you. You can choose whether the bank contacts you by phone, email or text message.
  • If you’d prefer not to talk to someone face-to-face or over the phone, you can send a message in the online banking app.
  • You can also contact the customer support team on 0345 600 4545 (Mon–Sun, 8am–9pm).
Report a problem

Citibank

Support available for vulnerable customers

Citibank can offer support including:

  • securing your account and helping you change passwords, login details and PIN information
  • opening a bank account in your name only
  • updating the signing authority for your account
  • providing financial assistance and guidance.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    This bank has not provided specific contact details for vulnerable customers.

    You can send a secure online message from your online banking profile page.

    Report a problem

    Clydesdale Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Clydesdale Bank has a Financial Care Team that can help you to improve your financial position and take control of your money.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    Contact the Financial Care Team on 0800 141 2261 (Mon–Fri, 8am–7pm and Sat, 9am–1pm).

    Report a problem

    Co-operative Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Co-operative Bank has a dedicated financial support team that can offer support with:

    • understanding payments on your account
    • resetting your login details or changing your card PINs
    • explaining your options if you have a joint account
    • setting up a new account
    • dealing with any debts.

    They offer a ‘Safe Space‘ in branch for people experiencing domestic abuse to make it easier for you to access support.

    Co-operative Bank has a partnership with Citizens Advice offering free financial help.

    If you’re worried someone is watching what you’re doing online, Co-operative Bank has an economic abuse pop-up. It won’t show in your browser history. The link is at the bottom of all of their webpages.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the dedicated financial support team on 0800 781 1493 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm and Sat–Sun, 9am–5pm).
    • The financial abuse web page includes an online form. You can use this form to request contact from the team in a way that is safe for you and at a time that suits you.
    Report a problem

    Dankse Bank

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Where appropriate, Dankse Bank will tailor solutions to your circumstances and work with you to make your banking safe and secure. They offer general support to customers who may be vulnerable.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • If you need additional support, you can contact Dankse Bank on 0345 601 0089 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm and Sat 9am-1pm, closed on Sun).
    • You can use the online service to send a secure message through your mobile app (Messages > click the pencil icon) or eBanking (under Contact > New message).
    • If you would prefer to speak to someone face-to-face, you can visit any of the branches.
    Report a problem

    First Direct

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    First Direct can offer support including:

    • arranging a new card and PIN and updating login details
    • changing your contact preferences and sending mail to a different address
    • suspending joint accounts
    • removing a secondary cardholder
    • support if you are in debt
    • support if there has been fraudulent activity on your account.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • There is an online form you can use to request a call back at a time when it’s safe for you to talk. The call will come from an unknown number.
    • You can send a message online via the app or via online banking. You can also speak to the general customer support team on 03456 100 100 (lines are open 24/7).
    Report a problem

    Halifax

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Halifax has a dedicated support team that can support customers who have experienced financial abuse. They can offer support with:

    • joint accounts
    • opening a new account
    • debts, lending and mortgages
    • important documents you might need.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the dedicated support team on 0800 0854 475 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm).
    • There is an online form you can complete to ask the dedicated support team to contact you at a time that is safe for you to talk.
    • You can send a message through the mobile banking app if you are not ready to talk.
    This bank has a specialist domestic and financial abuse team
    Report a problem

    HSBC UK

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    HSBC UK can offer support with:

    • receiving a new card
    • changing PINs and passwords
    • changing your correspondence address
    • changing who can access your account
    • managing joint accounts
    • removing secondary cardholders from a credit card
    • managing debt.

    HSBC UK branches offer a ‘Safe Space‘ for people experiencing domestic abuse to make it easier for you to access support.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • HSBC UK has an online form you can use to request a callback from the support team at a time when it’s safe for you to talk. The call will come from an unknown number. You will be asked if it’s safe for you to talk, and the call will be ended if you say no.
    • To get in touch directly, call the main Customer Support line on 03457 404 404 (Mon–Sun, 8am–8pm).
    • You can also chat directly through the app, or log in to online banking and look for the chat icon on the right hand side.
    • There is a specialist team you can contact if you are struggling to make debt repayments. Call 0345 850 0622 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm and Sat, 8am–4pm).
    Report a problem

    Ikano Bank

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Ikano Bank will share the information about your circumstances with staff as needed so that you only need to tell your story once.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • There is an online form to complete to tell the bank how they can support you and how it is most convenient for them to contact you.
    • There is a specific line to call if you need extra support:
      • IKEA customers: 0371 781 3077 (Mon–Sat, 9am–6pm and Sun, 10am–6pm)
      • All other Ikano Bank credit account holders: 0344 856 5355 (Mon–Fri, 9am–12pm and 1pm–4.30pm)
    Report a problem

    Leeds Building Society

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Leeds Building Society can offer practical support to help you take back control of your money. This could include:

    • passing your information onto their Specialist Customer Support Team, so they can look at ways to provide additional help if you feel you need it
    • logging what you tell them and any support required so you don’t need to tell them again next time you get in touch
    • helping you understand the payments going in and out of your account
    • providing you with guidance on resetting your login details for your online account
    • letting you know your options if you have a joint account
    • setting up a new savings account including, in some cases, if you don’t have all the usual documents
    • working out a budget.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    Contact the Specialist Customer Support Team via the main contact centre on 03450 50 50 75 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm and Sat, 9am–5pm).

    Report a problem

    Lloyds Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Lloyds Bank has a support team that is dedicated solely to providing specialist support to customers who have experienced financial abuse.

    They can offer support with:

    • managing joint accounts
    • opening a new account
    • debt, lending and mortgages
    • important documents you might need.

    Customers can request a non-geographical sort code for bank accounts.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the dedicated support team on 0800 0665 703 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm).
    • There is an online form you can complete to ask the dedicated support team to contact you at a time that is safe for you to talk.
    • You can send a message through the mobile banking app if you are not ready to talk.
    This bank has a specialist domestic and financial abuse team
    Report a problem

    M&S Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    M&S Bank can offer support with:

    • receiving a new card and PIN
    • changing passwords
    • changing your correspondence address
    • removing secondary cardholders from a credit card
    • managing debt
    • fraudulent activity on your account.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • There is an online form for customers who are experiencing financial or domestic abuse. You can use the form to request a call back from the specialist support team at a time when it’s convenient to talk. The call will come from an unknown number.
    • To get in touch with M&S Bank directly, call 0345 900 0900.
    Report a problem

    MBNA

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    MBNA has a dedicated support team for customers who have experienced financial abuse. They can offer support with:

    • opening a new account
    • lending and mortgages
    • important documents you might need
    • queries related to additional cardholders.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the dedicated support team on 0800 028 0428 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm).
    • There is an online form you can complete to ask the dedicated support team to contact you at a time that is safe for you to talk.
    • You can send a message through the mobile banking app if you are not ready to talk.
    This bank has a specialist domestic and financial abuse team
    Report a problem

    Metro Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Metro Bank has Specialist Support team that can support you to:

    • receive a new debit card/PIN
    • re-set online banking security
    • change your correspondence address
    • set up a new bank account which isn’t connected to any existing joint accounts
    • adding or removing other people from your banking accounts.

    They can make a confidential note of your situation on your file so that you don’t need to repeat your story each time you get in touch. They also offer a ‘Safe Space’ in branch for people experiencing domestic abuse to make it easier for you to access support.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    Contact the Specialist Support team on 0345 450 3256 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm).

    Report a problem

    Monzo

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Monzo has a specialist support team who are trained to support customers with their account. They can support you to:

    • change your preferences so Monzo gets in touch in a way and at a time that’s safe for you
    • agree a codeword to use to help you feel safe speaking on the phone
    • block payments to and from other Monzo users in the app if you’re getting unwanted payment references
    • help you set customised ATM and card limits
    • stop borrowing (such as going into an overdraft or taking out a loan) on your account
    • regain control of your accounts
    • ensure your device is the only one logged in to your account
    • manage joint accounts.

    Monzo have non-geographical sort codes as standard when you open a new account.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • You can use the in-app ‘Share with us’ feature to report domestic or financial abuse. Tap the ‘Help’ icon in the Monzo app. Search for ‘Talking to us about domestic and financial abuse’ and tap ‘Tell us more’.
    • You can chat in the app or ask for a call back at a time that’s safe for you (you can request this via the chat function).
    • You can phone the team on 0800 802 1281.
    Report a problem

    Natwest

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Natwest has a specialist team that can support customers to:

    • manage joint accounts
    • open a new account that is unconnected to any joint accounts
    • ensure letters from the bank are delivered to a secure address
    • control who can access your banking cards, PINs and passwords.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the specialist support team via the main Customer Support Team on 03457 888 444 (Mon–Sun, 8am–8pm).
    • There is also an online form you can complete if you have experienced economic or financial abuse. You can provide details of how the specialist team can safely contact you.
    Report a problem

    Nationwide Building Society

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Nationwide can provide support by:

    • helping you understand the payments going in and out of your account
    • resetting login details for your internet banking, or changing card PINs
    • explaining your options if you have a joint account
    • setting up a new current account or savings account
    • sending your bank statements to a different address
    • helping you deal with any debts.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    Contact the Specialist Support Team on 0800 917 23 93 (Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm and Sat, 9am–1pm).

    Report a problem

    Royal Bank of Scotland

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Royal Bank of Scotland can support you to:

    • manage joint accounts
    • open a new account that is unconnected to any joint accounts
    • ensure letters from the bank are delivered to a secure address
    • control who can access your banking cards, PINs and passwords.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the specialist support team via the main Customer Support Team on 03457 24 24 24 (Mon–Sun, 8am–8pm).
    • There is also an online form you can complete if you have experienced economic or financial abuse. You can provide details of how the specialist team can safely contact you.
    Report a problem

    Santander

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Santander has a ‘Tell us once’ initiative. This means that details of your story will be kept on your file, with your consent, so you don’t need to repeat it every time you get in touch.

    Branches offer a ‘Safe Space‘ for people experiencing domestic abuse to access support.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Start a chat in mobile or online banking with ‘tell us once’ and the details will be recorded on your file.
    • To speak to someone over the phone, call the main Customer Support team on 0800 313 4321 (Mon–Sun, 8am–6pm).
    Report a problem

    Smile

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Smile has a dedicated financial support team that can offer support with:

    • understanding payments on your account
    • resetting your login details or changing your card PINs
    • explaining your options if you have a joint account
    • setting up a new account
    • dealing with any debts.

    Smile is part of Co-operative Bank, which has a partnership with Citizens Advice offering free financial help.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the dedicated financial support team on 0800 781 1493 (Mon–Fri, 8am–6pm and Sat, 9am–5pm).
    • There is an online form that you can use to request contact from the team in a way that is safe for you and at a time that suits you.
    Report a problem

    Starling Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    • Starling Bank has a Welfare Support team that can support customers experiencing a variety of issues, including domestic abuse.
    • The app’s ‘hide references’ feature allows you to hide any payment references from the abuser.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    Ask to speak to the Welfare Support team when calling the main Customer Service team on 020 7930 4450. The Welfare Support team operate between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm on Saturdays.

    Report a problem

    TSB Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    TSB has an emergency flee fund that can provide money to help you leave an abuser.

    They can support you to:

    • open an account in your sole name, including with an untraceable sort code
    • change your correspondence address and login information
    • protect or review joint accounts, or accounts with a secondary cardholder, and in some cases, remove you from that account if necessary.

    TSB has a scheme to allow domestic abuse victims to safely open and access a bank account without standard documentation.

    Branches offer a ‘Safe Space‘ for people experiencing domestic abuse to access support.

    TSB can offer a wide range of support tailored to your needs. You can find out more about what they can do on their website.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • TSB has not provided specific contact details for vulnerable customers. You can contact the general customer support team on 03459 758 758 (Mon–Sun, 8am–8pm).
    • If you prefer not to speak over the phone, you can speak to a member of the team via the app’s online chat (Mon–Fri, 8am–5.3opm).
    Report a problem

    Ulster Bank

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Ulster Bank can support you to:

    • manage joint accounts
    • open a new account that is unconnected to any joint accounts
    • ensure letters from the bank are delivered to a secure address
    • control who can access your banking cards, PINs and passwords.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • Contact the specialist support team via the main Customer Support Team on 0345 948 2222 (Mon–Sun, 8am–8pm).
    • There is also an online form you can complete if you have experienced economic or financial abuse. You can provide details of how the specialist team can safely contact you.
    Report a problem

    West Bromwich Building Society

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    The support that West Bromwich Building Society can offer will depend on your personal situation. They do not give details of specific support offered to vulnerable customers. An online case study mentions implementing protocols to help protect the customer from further abuse.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    An online form is available to complete to provide details of your personal circumstances. The forms asks for information on how your circumstances may affect you managing your money, and for you to say how you would prefer to be contacted.

    Report a problem

    Yorkshire Building Society

    Financial Abuse Code Signatory

    Support available for vulnerable customers

    Yorkshire Building Society can support you to regain financial control, including providing support to:

    • open an account that’s in your name only
    • update your contact information
    • add extra passwords or limits to your account/s
    • help you choose a different way to manage your account/s
    • help prevent further debt being built up in your name.

    They can also provide longer appointments in branch in a private room.

    Information on economic or financial abuse from this bank

    Visit website

    How to get in touch

    • There is an online form to complete if you need extra support. The form gives space for you to provide information about your situation.
    • You can also call the general customer support team on 0345 1200 100 (Mon–Fri, 9am–1pm and Sat, 9am–1pm).
    Report a problem

    Your bank’s response

    “Advocacy is so important, especially when you are fearing homelessness and losing the children. I found a senior person in the bank who advocated on my behalf from within. His advice made a huge difference.”

    There is guidance for banks and building societies from the Financial Conduct Authority on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers.  This includes customers who have experienced economic abuse. Many banks have also signed up to the 2021 Financial Abuse Code, which guides industry responses to customers who have experienced financial and economic abuse. 

    Industry guidance  

    Responses can vary across different banks, but the guidance outlines that your bank or building society should:  

    • Respond with empathy: Staff should respond in a waythat is sensitive to the issues you are facing.  
    • Ensure the conversation is confidential: If speaking in person or on the phone about the abuse you have experienced, your conversation should not be overheard by other customers.   
    • Be flexible: Your bank should be responsive to your needs and may be able to take action that is outside their normal procedure to support you. This may include offering you a longer appointment, moving deadlines to give you more time to make any financial decisions, and reviewing charges and fees. The flexibility that banks can offer will vary, and some may be able to offer more flexibility than others, depending on their policies.  
    • Not ask you to repeat your story: Where possible, staff should record information securely on your file so that other staff members and departments can access it.  Some banks may be more advanced than others in minimising the need for you to repeat your experiences.  
    • Offer specialist help: Bank staff may know of specialist services and external sources of help relevant to your situation (eg specialist debt services or independent legal advice). Specialist services can provide you with information to help you make financial decisions.  
    • Speak to your family or friends: If you feel it is safe and you are happy for your bank to speak to a friend, family member or advocacy service on your behalf, you can ask for this. 
    • Alert the police: If your bank feels that you may be in immediate danger, they can alert the police on your behalf. If alerting the police may put you at risk, clearly explain your concerns to the bank staff member.  

    Your banks policy 

    Your bank may have its own policy on supporting vulnerable customers. You may be able to search online for this. You could also call to ask them about the steps they take to support customers facing difficult circumstances and the options that may be available to you. 

    Help to regain control of your finances 

    There are several ways that your bank can support you to regain control of your finances, if it is safe for you to do so. Your bank should make the options that you have clear to you, without pressurising you to take any specific action.  

    Staying safe
    Click to show

    If you think that someone else may have access to your PIN or online banking passwords, your bank can support you to change these. They can also:

      • issue a new card and PIN to a new address rather than the address they have on file for you, if you wish

      • send statements and other letters to a different address, which could be a refuge or safe house with a PO Box if you have left your home due to the risk of immediate danger.

     

    Controlling who has access to your account
    Click to show

    Your bank can help you to remove any access that the abuser may have to your account. They can give additional access to someone you trust, if you request it.

    If you are worried that the abuser may try to contact the bank to make changes to your account, you can set up a code word with the bank. This will add extra security to the account, as the bank will not speak to anyone unless the code word is provided. You can also use the code word during a call to let the bank know if it is not safe for you to talk.

    Managing joint accounts
    Click to show

    If you have a joint account with the abuser, your bank may be able to help you de-link your finances. They may be able to freeze the account for you, which will stop any payments or withdrawals being made.

    Reversing this requires the consent of both parties, so consider carefully whether you want to do this. When a court order is served, the bank is legally required to stop all activity on the account.

    Opening a new bank account
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    Your bank can help you to open a new account that is only in your name to help you manage your money independently. However, you may prefer to open a new account with a different bank to avoid the risk of accounts being linked.

    If you do not have access to the documents that are usually needed to prove your identity (such as a passport, driving licence or birth certificate), the bank may be able to accept different documents. This could include letters from a refuge, social worker or local authority.

    You can ask for letters to go to an address other than the address the bank has on file for you or ask to receive communication digitally (if you are sure your email account is safe and not accessible by the abuser).

    Many of the main banks and building societies offer basic bank accounts. These are often called ‘fee-free accounts’. They are designed for people who may not be able to open a standard current account. They do not have an overdraft and you will not face charges as you would if you were overdrawn.

    Getting information about your finances
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    The abuser may have stopped you from accessing your bank accounts and information about your finances. Your bank can support you to get information about:

    • assets (such as savings) in your name
    • debts (such as mortgages, loans and overdrafts) in your name
    • the payments coming into and going out of your account.

    You may wish to access your credit report for information on debts that are in your name with other financial providers.

    We have information that explains more about how an abuser may be linked to your credit report. This also explains how to make sure that no one can access your address details if you change the address on your credit record.

    Managing credit cards, mortgages and other debts 
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    If the abuser is a cardholder for a credit card in your name, your bank can support you to remove their access. This will prevent them from spending any more.

    You can speak to your bank about any changes you may wish to make to your mortgage and the options that may be available to you.

    Your bank can support you to access specialist debt advice services for information and advice on how to manage your debts. Many lenders can offer vulnerable customers more flexibility in paying back debts, and may be able to offer support that stops more debt building up.

    If you are not happy with the service you receive 

    The banking industry has made strides to improve its service for victim-survivors of economic abuse. However, there are things you can do if your bank does not properly support you.  

    1. Make a complaint  

    If you are unhappy with the service from your bank or building society, or if you feel they are not sensitive to your situation, you may wish to complain.  

    The first step to resolve an issue with your bank is to contact their complaints department. The bank must respond to complaints within eight weeks, and often they try to do so much quicker. Making a complaint will not have a negative effect on your bank account. It may help the bank to provide a better service for you and others in the future.  

    You can approach the bank in the way that feels most comfortable for you. However, putting your complaint in writing can be a useful record of the issue and the date the complaint was made.  

    You may wish to highlight what the issue is, the impact it has had on you and the outcome you would like.  

    2. Report it to the Financial Ombudsman  

    If your bank or building society doesn’t resolve your complaint or doesn’t respond within eight weeks, you can report it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Financial Ombudsman Service is free and independent. Its role is to settle disputes between consumers and companies. They have the legal power to put things right if they support your complaint. You can make a complaint online.  

    Last updated November 2023

    Further support 

    If you are experiencing economic abuse, you are not alone. We have more information that can support you to take steps towards safety and begin to regain control of your finances.

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