What is it, spotting the signs and how to get support

Financial and economic abuse are a form of domestic violence and anyone can be a victim. It's where someone you’re in a relationship with restricts your financial freedom. This doesn’t only mean a romantic partner – it could also be a family member, parent, carer or friend.

What does financial abuse look like?

  • Insisting their name is added to your bank or savings accounts, or stopping you from accessing your accounts
  • Insisting you give them your salary or benefit payments
  • Running up debts in your name with or without your knowledge. For example, credit cards or credit agreements for mobile phones or car finance
  • Forcing you to put all household bills in your name and/or refusing to contribute
  • Cashing your pension or cheques without your permission
  • Not allowing you to earn or spend any money unless you have their permission

What does economic abuse look like?

  • Stopping you from going to work, college or university
  • Isolating you – for example, not allowing you to access a mobile phone, car or other utilities, or stopping you from making or receiving phone calls
  • Stopping you from spending money on essentials
  • Not allowing you to buy pet food or access care for your pet
  • Deliberately forcing you to go to the family courts so you have to pay additional legal fees
  • Making education, training or employment difficult for you, so you’re financially dependent on them
  • Damaging possessions which you have to replace
  • Making it harder for you to buy food or pay for transport
  • Stop you going to work so you can earn money

We're here to help

We will listen and make sure we understand your situation. Then we’ll suggest ways we can help you get control of your accounts. Here are some examples:

  • Open a new account that’s in your name only
  • Help you to update your contact details, so any information is only sent to you
  • Add extra passwords or limits to your accounts to give you extra peace of mind
  • Help you choose a different way to manage your account
  • Give you longer appointments, or if you’re in one of our branches or agencies, have discussions in a separate room
  • If you’re in debt because of the abuse you’ve suffered, we can help you stop any further debt from happening in your name.

If you’re worried your money is at risk, please let us know as soon as you can. You can ask for help at your local branch or agency, get in touch by phone, or send us a secure message if you’re registered for online services.

Extra support

If you don’t feel that your money is at risk, but would like some additional support, please complete the request extra support form. This support includes:

  • A private room to use when you come into one of our branches or agencies
  • A longer appointment
  • Giving you longer to make any decisions
  • Where you are present, allowing us to speak to third parties on your behalf

If you do request extra support, we will not contact you directly about this. If you feel your money may be at risk, please get in touch by calling us on 0345 1200 100.

More information

If you’re affected by domestic abuse, there are organisations who can help. Whether that’s helping you move to a safe place, legal advice, or other types of practical help.

In an emergency

  • Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. This is a free 24 hour service.
  • If you’re in immediate danger, call the police on 999.
  • Remember the Silent Solution System. If you are unable to speak when the operator answers, press 55 to make them aware you are in danger and can’t speak.