Financial Abuse

We’re here to help you take back control of your money.

Everyone has the right to financial independence. If your partner, family member, carer or anybody else is controlling your money without permission including running up debts in your name, then it’s financial abuse. We can support if you, or someone else you know, is impacted by financial abuse.

In an Emergency

If you or your children are in immediate danger, dial 999 to call the police. If you can’t talk, use the silent solution by dialling 999 followed by 55 to alert the police you are in a genuine emergency.

24 hour Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline

The Domestic and Sexual Abuse helpline is open to women and men affected by domestic abuse or violence. This free telephone service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call free and in confidence on 0808 802 1414.

You can also email or use their live chat function External link icon.

Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse and it happens when someone tries to control another person’s ability to receive, use and maintain their own money. It involves coercive or controlling behaviour which can make it very difficult for someone to be independent, resist control and leave their abuser.

Financial abuse can take a variety of different forms and can happen to anyone of any age in any type of relationship. Abusers can be partners, family members, friends or carers.

Whether it’s accompanied by aggression or physical violence or not – it can leave you feeling isolated, lacking in confidence and trapped.

If you're affected by financial abuse, we can offer support to help you regain control of your finances. The most important thing is that you talk to someone - there is always help available to you.

What financial abuse looks like

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, class, religion or disability. It’s usually carried out by a partner, family member, friend or carer who might:

You or someone you know may be affected by financial abuse. Here are some questions which might help you recognise if this is the case.

Financial abuse can be when someone:

  • Stopped you from having access to your bank account or insisted their name be added to your accounts.
  • Prevented you from spending on essentials items like food and bills.
  • Asked you to account for everything you spend.
  • Insisted you give them your income from salary or benefit payments.
  • Takes out money or gets credit or loans in your name without your knowledge or permission.
  • Spend your household budget on other things without telling you.
  • Forces you to put all the household bills in your name.
  • Has offered to buy shopping or pay bills with your money, but you don’t see this happening.
  • Withdraw money from your account without your knowledge or permission.
  • Puts pressure on you to draw down, transfer or stop making pension payments.
  • Makes you take out or stop paying for insurance policies.

Get in touch Now

If you're affected by financial abuse, we can offer support to help you. Our teams are trained to help in these kind of situations and will be respectful and confidential. Where appropriate, they will tailor solutions to your individual circumstances and work with you to make your banking safe and secure.

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If it is safe to do so, call us in confidence on 0345 601 0089.

(Opening hours - Mon-Fri: 8am-6pm / Sat & Sun: 9am-5pm)

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Send us a secure message through our Mobile App (Messages > click the pencil icon) or eBanking (under Contact > New message).

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If you prefer to speak to someone face to face, call into any of our branches.

Ways to keep yourself safe

Practical steps you can take to help regain control of your finances

  • If you’re worried that someone else has access to your bank card and PIN details we can block the card and order a new one, you can do this yourself on ebanking
  • If you are worried someone else has access to your eBanking or Mobile logon details we can block and reorder new logon details.
  • We can help you access statements online or update your address to deliver your mail to a secure location or to a branch.
  • We can help you open an account in your sole name only and discuss the documents you might need to do this.
  • We can help you change your address to a safe location.
  • If you have a joint account with your abuser we can talk to you about your options.
  • If you are the primary cardholder on your credit card with your abuser, you could remove the secondary cardholder so nothing else can be spent.
  • We can signpost you to external organisations that can give you guidance and support.
  • If you’re worried about the access that an abuser has to your money or the financial decisions they make on your behalf, you can remove their access. Or, you can arrange for someone else trusted to have third party access.
  • If you are struggling to pay your debt because of financial abuse, get in touch with us to discuss.

Government Emergency Alerts

A nationwide emergency alert set people's phones off for 10 seconds on Sunday 23 April.

This alert could have put victims of abuse at risk by exposing the existence of a secret phone to their abuser.

It is not enough to switch your phone to silent mode as the emergency alert will override this.

A message will pop up along with a sound and vibration that will stop automatically after 10 seconds.

How to turn Government Emergency Alerts off

  • On iPhones and Android phones and tablets, people can search settings for "emergency alerts" and turn off "severe alerts" and "emergency alerts".
  • On Huawei devices running EMUI 11 or older, search settings for "emergency alerts" and turn off "extreme threats", "severe threats", and "show amber alerts".
  • Refuge have created a video for iPhone & Android users for Managing Emergency Alerts on your phone to stay safe if you're experiencing domestic abuse (YouTube)

Browsing history

Information and resources

Offers guidance and advice on spotting the signs of abuse, how to leave safely and regain control of your finances.

Financial abuse: spotting the signs and leaving safely External link icon

Taking back control after financial abuse External link icon

UK Finance
It's your Money External link icon provides information on what to do when financial abuse happens and the support customers can get from their financial services firm.

Surviving Economic Abuse: Transforming responses to economic abuse External link icon Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is a UK charity dedicated to raising awareness of economic abuse and transforming responses to it. They work to ensure that women are supported not only to survive, but also to thrive.

Northern Ireland
Women’s Aid website External link icon or call the Freephone 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Abuse Helpline on 0808 802 1414.

MAP NI - The Men's Advisory Project Northern Ireland Website External link icon or call for confidential support and information on 028 9024 1929

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline External link icon offers advice and understanding to LGBT+ people

Older people
Age UK advice page External link icon

Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602: Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year.

Hourglass helpline 0808 808 8141 (and text, webchat, email – details at External link icon)

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