Experiencing financial abuse

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse can take many different forms within different relationships, including partners, family members or carers. Financial abuse might be financial control, restriction, exploitation or sabotage, creating dependency or instability. Financial abuse can happen to anyone.

What could financial abuse look like?

While financial abuse will vary from person to person. To protect yourself, or someone you know there are signs of financial abuse you can look out for. Common signs of financial abuse can include:

  • Restricted or controlled access to money and accounts.
  • Restricted or controlled access to statements.
  • Forced to pay someone a salary or benefit payments.
  • Stopped from using a credit card.
  • Pressured to take out credit agreement products.

If you're a victim of financial abuse, we are here to offer help and support, so you can take control again.

At Bank of Scotland, we have been working with UK Finance to make sure we can offer the right support to you or a loved one, in a safe way. Download our financial abuse support guide (PDF, 2.5Mb) for more information on how we can help and details of other organisations you can contact for practical help and support.

We can help you get control of your money

How we can support you

We'll do our best to support you to get control of your money.

We can support and help with:

  • Joint accounts.
  • Debts, lending and mortgages.
  • Opening a new account.
  • Important documents you might need, like your passport, driving licence and bills.

Stay safe

Taking steps to keep your finances safe is important. There are some actions you can take:

  • Review and track your credit score on Internet Banking and the Mobile Banking app.
  • If you think someone is opening your letters you may be able to have them sent elsewhere.
  • Never share your PIN or password with anyone.
  • Change your PIN or password if you believe someone else may have them.
  • Receive your statements online if you use Internet Banking.

Contact us in a way that's best for you

Call us

Speak to our dedicated support team on 0800 1218 278.

Lines are open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.

We can contact you

Our dedicated team can offer support by contacting you. Complete a short online form and let us know when you would like to be contacted.

Complete online form

Visit us in branch

If you feel it’s safe to, come and speak to someone in one of our branches.

Message us online

If you're not ready to talk, you can send us a message through the Mobile Banking app or Internet Banking by typing financial abuse or domestic abuse and Send

Please be mindful of who has access to, or who can view, your device when using the messaging service.

Messaging history is not deleted when your conversation finishes. Conversation history will be visible for up to 13 months. 

How to message us

Message us

If you’re not ready to talk, you can message us through the Mobile Banking app.

  1. Log in and select Support.
  2. Select Message us 24/7.
  3. Type financial abuse or domestic abuse and Send. You’ll go straight through to one of our agents.

Please be mindful of who has access to, or who can, view your phone when using the messaging service in the app.

Please be aware that message history is not deleted when your conversation finishes. Conversation history will be visible in your app for up to 13 months.

Download app

Support from other organisations

Refuge logo

In an emergency

If you need help urgently, you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free on 0808 2000 247 (24 hours), which is run in partnership with Refuge.

Or call the police on 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger.

Staying safe online

Modern technology gives abusers ever-growing ways to control those using the tools of everyday life.

If you need help and support with how to secure your tech visit Refuge’s tech safety website.

Surviving Economic Abuse logo

Surviving Economic Abuse

Surviving Economic Abuse is a charity dedicated to raising awareness of this type of abuse and improving the support that is available for those experiencing it.

SEA's website has expert information on economic abuse and the support that is available to help you regain control.

You can visit the Surviving Economic Abuse website where you will find additional support, and information on next steps that you might take.

Bright Sky logo

Bright Sky

You can download the free Bright Sky app.

Bright Sky is a safe, easy to use app that has a range of tools to support you if you are in an abusive relationship or worried about someone you know.

  • The app is available in 5 languages.
  • A unique UK-wide directory of specialist domestic abuse support services with contact details.
  • Content to help you understand if you or someone else is at risk.
  • Links to further resources and information on domestic abuse.
  • Information to help you to stay safe online.

Calls and online sessions may be monitored and recorded. Not all Telephone Banking services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.