UK Finance – a large trade association for the UK banking and finance profession – has introduced a new code of practice to provide recommendations to its members about identifying financial abuse and helping those who are experiencing it to regain control of their money. Examples of financial abuse can include controlling bank accounts, using (and misusing) credit cards and gambling with shared assets. Limiting access to funds can impact a person’s ability to break free from an abusive relationship and can lead to isolation from friends and family. People that have experienced financial abuse in a relationship may still face difficulties afterwards: paying off large debts and having a poor credit rating. We welcome the new code of practice as a positive step towards ending financial abuse.
About UK Finance
UK Finance was formed in July 2017 as a unification of 6 trade associations that had previously represented various interests in the financial industry. They represent around 300 firms that provide banking and credit and payment services. These firms include organisations such as American Express, Aviva, Halifax, HSBC, Nationwide and NatWest. More information on their work and a full list of members can be found on the About Us pages of the UK Finance website.
The Code of Practice
The new code of practice is formed from six key principles:
The full code of practice can be downloaded from the UK Finance website.
Tackling Financial Abuse
The recent consultation for the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill had a focus on financial abuse and what could be done to help tackle it. Despite this, there have been articles questioning whether the government fully understands financial abuse, particularly around the Universal Credit system and single payments for couples. We hope that the issues with the way Universal Credit is paid will be resolved and that the government’s domestic abuse bill will work to raise awareness of financial abuse, also bringing in policies to support to those experiencing it.
Leeway is an independent domestic abuse charity. If you are experiencing financial abuse, or have concerns about someone else, call our support line on 0300 561 0077 for confidential advice.
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