As part of its new procedure to help victims of financial abuse regain control of their finances, HSBC UK has introduced an untraceable sort code.
This introduction has been made to help victims of financial abuse who may have had personal items such as their bank card or account statements taken from them. Customers who are concerned an abuser could use these details to find out their location can request a national sort code that cannot be traced to a particular bank branch.
This is just one of several new processes the bank is introducing this year to help victims of financial abuse. Other processes it is introducing include providing training to staff on how to spot the signs of financial abuse and providing appropriate support to victims, as well as creating a specialist team to take calls from customers who are in vulnerable circumstances.
Tracie Pearce, commercial director at HSBC UK, said: “Victims of financial abuse have unique needs when it comes to separating and managing their finances.
“From opening a separate account with a national sort code to help conceal their location, to appointing a third party such as a representative from a refuge to deal with their finances on their behalf. Our financial abuse procedure will ensure that whenever a customer walks into our branch or picks up the phone to us, they will receive the specialist care they need.”
Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse that involves the perpetrator stopping a victim from having control over their own money. It can affect people in many different types of relationships for example spouses, partners, family, friends and carers.
In October 2018, a number of banks and building societies signed up to a voluntary code of practice to help the victims of financial abuse, including HSBC. Other providers who signed up to the code include Barclays, Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, the Co-operative Bank, Halifax, Lloyds Bank, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, RBS, Santander, TSB, Virgin Money and Yorkshire Bank.
By signing up to the code these financial providers have pledged to raise awareness about financial abuse, train staff, respond in an appropriate way to victims, help victims to regain control of their finances and refer victims to other types of help available to them.
For those who are in a vulnerable position and who are the victim of financial abuse, you can contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline, which is run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, on 0808 2000 247; or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999.
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