Financial abuse can take many forms. It could be someone stopping you from earning or using your own money. It could be someone running up debts in your name, or spending your money without your permission.
You don’t have to deal with it on your own – we can help.
What does financial abuse look like?
Financial abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, class, religion or disability. Often, it’s carried out by a partner, but it can also be a family member, friend or carer. They might:
- Withdraw money from your account without your knowledge or permission.
- Spend or limit access to your household budget without telling you
- Prevent you from working or getting to your job
- Control access to your bank accounts
- Make you explain what you’ve spent your money on
- Take out credit cards or loans in your name without your knowledge
How can we help?
We’ll listen to you and ensure we understand what's happening before we suggest ways in which we can help you – we won’t judge you or put any pressure on you. We can suggest and offer practical steps to help you take back control of your money. This could include:
- Setting up a new savings account
- Helping you understand the money or activity going in and out of your sole or joint accounts
- Letting you know your options if you have a joint account
- Working out a budget
- Us sending your statements to a different address
- Helping you make a plan to deal with any debts
- Telling you about other organisations who can support you and help keep you safe
Important: If you need help urgently, you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 200 0247. This free helpline is run by Refuge and Women’s Aid and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Not ready to talk?
There is a lot of help and support available to get some practical advice even before you are ready to talk things through. UK Finance has produced a comprehensive leaflet about financial abuse, assisted by several banks and building societies. The leaflet contains more examples of financial abuse, how we can help, and lists other organisations that can support you when you’re ready.
You can download the leaflet here.
Is someone you know a victim of financial abuse?
If you suspect a family member or friend is suffering from financial abuse you can show them the UK Finance ‘It’s your money’ leaflet and encourage them to contact their bank or building society, or one of the organisations listed at the back of the leaflet.
You can also read our article Lifting the lid on financial abuse.