- New service will provide financial support to victims of financial, economic and domestic abuse
- A joint party can now be removed from the account of a victim of financial abuse
Lloyds Banking Group is launching a specialist customer support service to provide financial assistance to Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers who are victims of financial, economic and domestic abuse.
The new service will provide financial guidance as well as directing customers to specialist charities for emotional and practical support.* The service will support customers on various financial issues including how to manage joint accounts, options for opening new accounts, and advice on dealing with debts such as loans or mortgages.
The Group recognises that financial abuse is a UK wide issue.** Raising awareness will reduce stigma, help colleagues to recognise the signs of abuse, and feel confident and equipped to support customers in regaining control of their finances.
Training has been designed specifically for the support service team to develop deep understanding of domestic, financial and economic abuse, working in partnership with the Lloyds Bank Foundation, Tender, and Surviving Economic Abuse charities.
As part of the training the specialist support team has learned how to better recognise the specific challenges victims and survivors face, and provide detail on tailored financial options that the Group can provide, to help them fulfil their banking needs.
Fiona Cannon, Lloyds Banking Group Responsible Business, Sustainability & Inclusion Director 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: "SEA is proud to support Lloyds Banking Group in delivering an informed and high-quality service to customers who may be experiencing economic abuse. 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."
To coincide with the launch of the service, in further support of customers, Lloyds Banking Group will also introduce terms and conditions changes which allow a party to be removed from a joint account where one of the account holders has been the victim of financial abuse.
The new service team will be located in Newport, South Wales, and available to customers through a dedicated telephony line. When the support team launches customers will be referred by the partner charities directly.***
* Surviving Economic Abuse and Tender.
*** The volume of referrals to the support team will be reviewed throughout 2019 with a plan to open the support service to all customers.
NOTES TO EDITORS
In addition to the Financial, Economic and Domestic Abuse Team, Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches now offer to print the It’s your money guide which explains how financial services firms can help customers who are victims of financial abuse.
Lloyds Banking Group have also committed to the new Financial Abuse Code of Practice supported by UK Finance.