British financial institution Lloyds Bank is putting together a team to fight domestic financial abuse by offering help to victims, according to a report by Reuters.
The new team will have special powers to help abuse victims, with a focus on people who have been coerced into financial situations by abusive partners. Lloyds has previously run campaigns to help customers with mental or physical health issues.
This new team, which will be based in Newport, South Wales, will be comprised of five workers trained to deal with coerced victims who signed paperwork for joint debt, as well as those who don’t have access to their own money. The team will also provide aid in extreme cases, such as victims who have run away from abusive relationships. There are plans for a hotline to provide victims with advice and guidance.
“One in four women and one in six men will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes. When you think we have 25 million customers and around 67,000 staff, the reason for us to address this is clear,” said Martin King, head of customer vulnerability at Lloyds.
In a recent report by Surviving Economic Abuse, it was reported that 60 percent of abuse survivors say debt was put on them, they were made to borrow money or they were forced to purchase something against their will.
There is also a new initiative that would allow a domestic abuse victim who has fled a toxic situation to be removed from a joint account. In cases like that, the team will be able to start new bank accounts for victims without any identification, or using a P.O. box as an address.
Lloyds aims to have the abuse hotline operating by September.