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Financial abuse

What is Financial Abuse?

The Care Act 2014 describes ‘financial abuse’ as a type of abuse which includes having money or other property stolen, being defrauded, being put under pressure in relation to money or other property and having money or other property misused.

Financial abuse can take a variety of forms and it can happen differently with different relationships. It often comes from an intimate partner, but it’s also committed by family members, friends or carers. It could happen to you or someone you know.  

If you’re reading this because you or someone you know might be experiencing financial abuse, you are in the right place, there is always someone to talk to and help is available.

This UK Finance guide has more information on what kind of behaviour is financial abuse and where you can go for help.

Examples of what financial abuse could look like

Financial abuse from a family member, friend, partner or carer can look like:

  • someone taking out money or getting credit in your name without your knowledge or permission
  • someone making you hand over control of your accounts
  • someone cashing in your pension or other cheques without your authorisation
  • they have added their name to your account
  • they have asked you to change your will
  • someone has offered to buy shopping or pay bills for you, but you don’t see this happening
  • you are being stopped from seeing other friends and family.

Financial abuse from a partner can look like:

  • they are stopping you from working or going to work
  • they are stopping you from going to college or university
  • being asked to account for every single thing you spend
  • you’re no longer able to get access to your financial services provider accounts
  • your partner has stopped you from spending on essential items
  • they have taken out credit cards and/or loans in your name
  • they have spent your household budget on things without telling you
  • your partner has put all the bills in your name.

How can first direct help you?

It’s important to talk to someone. Here are just some of the ways we can help as your bank:

Cards, PINs and passwords

If you’re worried that your card details or PIN have been disclosed, please call us on 03 456 100 100. We can have a chat about any concerns you may have and can quickly arrange a new card and PIN if necessary.

Cards

Cancelling your card will have an immediate effect and you need to ring us to do this.

You can request a replacement card via Online Banking. Logon and go to Balances/Manage Account/Card and PIN. Replacement cards take 5-7 working days to arrive and your old card will expire once the new card is used.

PINs

You can request a new PIN in Online Banking. Logon and go to: Balances/Manage Account/Card and PIN.

If you don’t need a new PIN but you wish to change it or unlock your existing PIN, you can do this at an ATM (cash machine).

Changing username and passwords

You may also want to change your logon details for your Digital and Telephone Banking to make sure that your accounts are more secure. You can do that by phoning us on 03 456 100 100. Or, you can change your username and passwords in Online Banking. Logon and go to: My details/Security details. You’ll need your Secure Key to generate an extra security code during this process to make sure it’s really you who is making the request to change.

Mail we send you

We understand that your circumstances might make it difficult to have mail received at your home address. You can opt for online statements through Online Banking. Logon and go to: My details/Statement preferences.

We can add a different ‘service address’ on your account so that mail we send you goes to a different address. Give us a call on: 03 456 100 100.

Third Party access

You can set up another party or person to carry out your day to day banking transactions on your account. You’ll just need to fill in a third party mandate form. This is a formal instruction from you, telling us who you wish to help look after your account(s). Give us a call on 03 456 100 100 to request the form and we can let you know more about what a third party holder can do to support you.

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account set up and you’re no longer together, you can ask us to set the account to require both parties to sign for any transactions going out of the account. This means we can still make sure your regular commitments are met, for example existing Direct Debit bill payments, but nothing else can go out. Alternatively, we can suspend the account to make sure that no transactions are made. Please call on 03 456 100 100 and speak with our Customer Relations Team.

Credit Cards

If you have a first direct Credit Card, you should check if you’re the primary or secondary cardholder. The primary cardholder is responsible for the repayment of all money spent on both cards. If you have a secondary cardholder we’d recommend that you remove the secondary card as soon as possible if you’re in any dispute to make sure nothing else can be spent on the card. Call us on 03 456 100 100 to do this.

Debts

Please please please don't bottle up your worries. If you're having difficulties first direct customers can call our Credit Solutions Team on 03 456 100 188 to talk about what we can do to help. Our Financial Management page also offers some useful information.

Fraud

If you think someone has taken out credit in your name or feel you've been tricked into giving your security details, please call us as soon as possible.

Call 03 456 100 100 (lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year)

Text phone: 03 456 100 147

Calling from abroad: +44 113 234 5678

Text relay: +44 151 494 1260

Credit file

If you have any joint finances with somebody and that relationship ends, they might show up on your credit record. If you don't want this to happen, you can apply for a notice of disassociation.

What is a notice of disassociation?

A notice of disassociation is something you can request from the credit reference agencies. You could ask for one when a financial association you had with someone, a loan with an ex-partner for example, ends. You are requesting that you and the joint party are no longer connected financially.   The first port of call would be the credit reference agencies (Experian, Callcredit and Equifax). You can also register with www.cifas.org.uk who will be able to alert you if any credit applications are made in your name.

Call us

If you have any concerns, give our team a call. They're happy to talk about the things we can do to help you.

Call us on: 03 456 100 100 (lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year)

Text phone: 03 456 100 147

Calling from abroad: +44 113 234 5678

Text relay: +44 151 494 1260

Help

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