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Domestic and financial abuse

If you’re reading this because you or someone you know might be at risk of domestic or financial abuse, you are in the right place, there is always someone to talk to and help is available

Need urgent help but can't speak freely?

If you are in immediate danger but can’t talk call 999, followed by 55 when prompted from your mobile and then stay on the line. This will highlight that you are in immediate need of assistance and you will be automatically transferred to the police for help.

If you are calling from a landline call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and if possible, respond by coughing or tapping the head set.


What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is defined by the Government as any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members (including step and in-law family members), regardless of their gender or sexuality. ‘Domestic abuse’ covers a range of types of abuse, including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse and it often comes from an intimate partner, but it can also be committed by family members, friends or carers. It could happen to you or someone you know.

You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help. If financial abuse is happening to you, it's important to tell someone and remember you're not alone.

If you’re reading this because you or someone you know might be at risk of domestic or financial abuse, you're in the right place. There's always someone to talk to, and help is available.

Examples of what financial abuse could look like

Financial abuse from a family member, friend, partner or carer can look like:

  • someone taking out money or getting credit in your name without your knowledge or permission
  • someone making you hand over control of your accounts
  • someone cashing in your pension or other cheques without your authorisation
  • they have added their name to your account
  • they have asked you to change your will
  • someone has offered to buy shopping or pay bills for you, but you don’t see this happening
  • you are being stopped from seeing other friends and family.

Financial abuse from a partner can look like:

  • they are stopping you from working or going to work
  • they are stopping you from going to college or university
  • being asked to account for every single thing you spend
  • you’re no longer able to get access to your financial services provider accounts
  • your partner has stopped you from spending on essential items
  • they have taken out credit cards and/or loans in your name
  • they have spent your household budget on things without telling you
  • your partner has put all the bills in your name.

Domestic and financial abuse scenarios

“My dad has dementia and needs help with managing his money. I’ve just found out my sister has taken out a power of attorney without discussing it with the family, and she's booked a holiday using his savings.”

“I’ve been talking to someone online, they’re so kind and I think I’ve really fallen for them.

I was so worried when they told me their mum was in hospital and they couldn’t afford the medical care so I have been sending money to help but I’ve used all my savings and having to use my overdraft.”

“ I went shopping and when I got home, my partner held me down and shouted at me for spending. I struggled to get loose and then they struck me across the face.”

“My boyfriend offered to help me get on top of my finances but he put his name on my account and has stolen all my savings.”

“My partner controls everything, they don’t let me look at my bank statements and have changed my log in details to stop me accessing my online banking”

“My mum said she was struggling financially and made me feel really guilty for not being able to help, so I took out a personal loan to give her some money.”

Financial abuse by strangers

Financial abuse is most commonly seen as abusive behaviours in a relationship, however it’s becoming increasingly more common for people to become the victim of a scam.

Scams have become more sophisticated and it’s really important to be careful what you do if someone asks you for money.

The main types of financial abuse scams involve someone trying to persuade you to send money to them. This might not sound like it's hard to spot. But the scammer often tries to persuade you that they’re from your bank – or somewhere else official.

For more information on how to keep your money safe and keep up to date with fraud prevention tips, read our Fraud Awareness information.

Where can I get help?

How to tell us what you need

If you have any concerns you can tell us in a way that suits you. We're happy to let you know about the things we can do to help.

We can call you


Call us

Give us a call on 03 456 100 100

Chat with us online

Log in > go to Help > select 'Chat now'

Log in > select 'Message us'

Chats with us online are stored for 13 months and you can log on to online banking, the app or your tablet to see the same chat history.

How can first direct help?

It’s important to talk to someone. Here are just some of the ways we can help as your bank:

Cards, PINs and passwords

If you’re worried that your card details or PIN have been disclosed, please call us on 03 456 100 100. We can have a chat about any concerns you may have and can quickly arrange a new card and PIN if necessary.


Cancelling your card will have an immediate effect and you need to ring us to do this.

You can request a replacement card via Online Banking. Logon and go to Balances/Manage Account/Card and PIN. Replacement cards take 5-7 working days to arrive and your old card will expire once the new card is used.


You can request a new PIN in Online Banking. Logon and go to: Balances/Manage Account/Card and PIN.

If you don’t need a new PIN but you wish to change it or unlock your existing PIN, you can do this at an ATM (cash machine).

Changing username and passwords

You may also want to change your logon details for your Digital and Telephone Banking to make sure that your accounts are more secure. You can do that by phoning us on 03 456 100 100. Or, you can change your username and passwords in Online Banking. Logon and go to: My details/Security details. You’ll need your Secure Key to generate an extra security code during this process to make sure it’s really you who is making the request to change.

Mail we send you

We understand that your circumstances might make it difficult to have mail received at your home address. You can opt for online statements through Online Banking. Logon and go to: My details/Statement preferences.

We can add a different ‘service address’ on your account so that mail we send you goes to a different address. Give us a call on: 03 456 100 100.

Third Party access

You can set up another party or person to carry out your day to day banking transactions on your account. You’ll just need to fill in a third party mandate form. This is a formal instruction from you, telling us who you wish to help look after your account(s). Give us a call on 03 456 100 100 to request the form and we can let you know more about what a third party holder can do to support you.

Joint accounts

If you have a joint account set up and you’re no longer together, we can suspend the account to make sure that no transactions are made. We can transfer direct debits and standing orders from the joint account across to a sole account to ensure the payment can continue to be paid. Please call on 03 456 100 100 and speak with our Customer Relations Team.

Credit Cards

If you have a first direct Credit Card, you should check if you’re the primary or secondary cardholder. The primary cardholder is responsible for the repayment of all money spent on both cards. If you have a secondary cardholder we’d recommend that you remove the secondary card as soon as possible if you’re in any dispute to make sure nothing else can be spent on the card. Call us on 03 456 100 100 to do this.


Please please please don't bottle up your worries. If you're having difficulties first direct customers can call our Credit Solutions Team on 03 456 100 188 to talk about what we can do to help. Our Financial Management page also offers some useful information.


If you think someone has taken out credit in your name or feel you've been tricked into giving your security details, please call us as soon as possible.

Call 03 456 100 100 (lines are open 24/7, 365 days a year)

Text phone: 03 456 100 147

Calling from abroad: +44 113 234 5678

Text relay: +44 151 494 1260

Credit file

If you have any joint finances with somebody and that relationship ends, they might show up on your credit record. If you don't want this to happen, you can apply for a notice of disassociation.

What is a notice of disassociation?

A notice of disassociation is something you can request from the credit reference agencies. You could ask for one when a financial association you had with someone, a loan with an ex-partner for example, ends. You are requesting that you and the joint party are no longer connected financially.   The first port of call would be the credit reference agencies (Experian, Callcredit and Equifax). You can also register with www.cifas.org.uk who will be able to alert you if any credit applications are made in your name.


We're here to help you. If you have a question, chances are we answer it in our Help section.