Lloyds offers support service to cancer sufferers
Macmillan says that 2.4m are currently living with a cancer diagnosis and for many the financial impact of the disease comes as a surprise. Macmillan’s Support Line is 25x more likely to receive calls about financial issues than those related to death or dying.
Patients having to take time off work and travel to hospital regularly for treatment means four in five (83%) people are, on average, £570 a month worse off as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Family members may also need to stop working to care for a loved one. Only 11% of people are turning to their bank for help.
Lloyds Banking Group’s new Cancer Support Team has been trained by Macmillan so they understand the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and can offer bespoke support. The dedicated team can help Lloyds Bank, Bank of Scotland and Halifax customers with concerns they have and with managing their personal banking, savings, loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Martin King, head of strategy and capability at Lloyds, said this support might be taking a payment holiday on a mortgage, waiving fees or account charges, or pausing loan repayments. He said: “Each case is individual. It may be that people have money in term deposits, where an early exit would normally attract penalties. We can help with that.”
The group has plans to widen this out to other health problems. It has been working with Mental Health UK on devising a similar system for those with mental health problems. It also works with Grief Encounter to help people who have been bereaved.
Nationwide also has a partnership with Macmillan. The cancer charity called on financial services providers to do more to help cancer sufferers after a spike in worried patients calling their help line. In 2015, the BBA launched a set of guidelines to help staff provide the best possible support to people with critical or long-term illnesses.