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Helen’s story

The names shown have been changed, but the case study is an example of a real customer experience. Any options we may suggest will be based on your individual circumstances.

Helen has been a customer with the West Brom for a number of years. During this time the branch had been made aware through an alert issued by the local arm of NHS England Safeguarding, that Helen, who also suffered from mental health issues, had been a victim of financial coercion by a family member.

Unfortunately, this type of behaviour happens more often than we would like and, in these cases, the West Brom implements additional protocols to protect the customer from similar events in the future.

Recently, the branch staff started to see a change in Helen’s transactional activity which raised concerns.

What we did

The branch did not want to cause Helen any undue duress and contacted the local NHS England Safeguarding team as they knew the background to the situation.

Following a home visit, the local NHS England Safeguarding team discovered that Helen was being told by a ‘friend’ that her benefits would be stopped if she had too much money in her savings account. This prompted Helen to suddenly start to buy items that she had no use for and her savings had begun to dwindle at a fast pace. During the visit, discussions were held with Helen about her benefits and financial situation and extra support was put in place to give Helen further peace of mind.

The local NHS England Safeguarding team were really impressed with the diligent way the branch handled the situation and thanked them for their prompt action and for looking after Helen in such a sensitive manner.


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Are you in a similar situation to Helen, or do you know someone who is?

UK Finance: It's your money

UK Finance have published a leaflet on financial abuse which highlights how financial services firms, like ourselves, can help you if you are a victim of financial abuse.

Read leaflet

If you or someone you know is looking for advice or support on financial abuse, the following organisations may be able to help:

Citizens Advice
Information, advice and support on lots of different topics, including debt, money matters, housing and benefits
Phone: 03444 111 444 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)

Money Advice Service
Free and impartial money advice, set up by government
Phone: 0800 138 7777 (Mon-Fri, 8am – 6pm)

The National Domestic Violence Helpline
A freephone 24-hour helpline run in partnership by Refuge and Women’s Aid. It is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
Phone: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)

Respect Men’s Advice Line
The free Respect Men’s Advice Line offers support for men.
Phone: 0808 801 0327

National LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
Galop’s free National LGBTQ+ Domestic Abuse Helpline offers support for LGBTQ+ people.
Phone: 0800 999 5428

Action on Elder Abuse
A free helpline offering information, advice and support for older people in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Phone: 080 8808 8141 (Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm)

Age UK
A free advice and resource service for older people
Phone: 0800 169 656

NHS England Safeguarding
Working together to help protect children, young people and adults in all communities. For further information on who to contact locally in your area, please visit NHS England Safeguarding app. It can be accessed via Apple iOS, Google Play or it can be downloaded by visiting your device’s appropriate app store and searching for ‘NHS Safeguarding’.

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