The code has been developed in association with charities, victim support groups and government departments, alongside UK Finance’s Financial Abuse Project Group and Consumer Advisory Group.
The financial abuse code of practice will bring increased awareness and better understanding of what abuse looks like for firms, colleagues, victims, potential victims and their families.
The key principles that the code aims to cover also include training colleagues, minimising the need to repeat one’s story in the same organisation and helping to regain control of finances.
There are 11 high street firms that have committed to implementing the voluntary code with more firms expected to follow, raising awareness, training colleagues and introducing other initiatives to help victims regain more control over their finances.
Financial abuse can take a variety of different forms within relationships, whether by intimate partners, family members or carers and may manifest itself as financial control, dependency, exploitation or sabotage.
The code considers financial abuse scenarios, including those within the context of partner relationships, domestic abuse, but also the older population as a particularly relevant demographic at risk.
Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said the financial services industry can play a key role in helping combat financial abuse, offering support to victims to help them regain control of their money.
He added: “This new voluntary code provides further guidance for banks and building societies and, once rolled-out, will help raise awareness amongst staff so that victims of financial abuse can be confident that they will be treated sympathetically and positively in these particularly difficult circumstances.”