Lloyds launches support service for abuse victims
Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland customers who are the victims of abuse will be offered financial guidance as well as directed 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.
Lloyds is also introducing 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.
According to Mankind Initiative, 13.2 per cent of men and 28.9 per cent of women and aged 16 to 59 had experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16, equivalent to an estimated 2.2 million male victims and 4.8 million female. For every three victims of domestic abuse, two will be female, one will be male. One in four women and one in six to seven men suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetime.
Lloyds says it recognises that financial abuse is a UK wide issue and says that raising awareness will reduce any stigma. Staff 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 Lloyds can provide, to help them fulfil their banking needs.
Fiona Cannon, Lloyds Banking Group responsible business, sustainability and 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.”