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Person sitting on sofa looking worried

Financial abuse

We’re here to help you protect your money

If you’re experiencing any kind of abuse, you may find that your finances are affected too. Here, we explain what financial abuse looks like, how you can keep your money safe and where to find further support – either for yourself or someone you know. 

What could financial abuse look like?

Financial abuse is a type of coercive behaviour – it happens when someone tries to control another person’s ability to acquire, use and maintain their own money. It can make it difficult or impossible for someone to be independent, resist control and leave their abuser.

You or someone you know may be a victim of financial abuse – these questions might help you recognise if this is the case.

Has your partner

  • Stopped you from working, or stopped you from going to work?
  • Asked you to account for everything you spend?
  • Stopped you from having access to your accounts?
  • Stopped you from spending on essentials?
  • Taken out credit cards or loans in your name?
  • Spent your household budget on other things without telling you?
  • Made you put all the bills in your name?

Or has a family member, friend, partner, or carer

  • Taken out credit in your name, or money without your knowledge or permission?
  • Made you hand over control of your accounts?
  • Cashed your pension or other cheques without authorisation?
  • Added their name to your account?
  • Asked you to change your will?
  • Offered to buy shopping or pay bills but you don’t see this happening?
  • Stopped you from seeing other friends or family?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you could be experiencing financial abuse. We’re here to support you – here are some of the ways we can help. 

How to keep your money safe

If someone is controlling your money or assets, here are some practical steps you can take to protect yourself

  • Move to paperless billing – if you think someone might be opening your letters, go paperless and get digital statements in the Barclays app1 and Online Banking instead 
  • Keep your accounts secure – change your PINs and passwords regularly, even if you think your abuser doesn’t know them. You can change your PIN at any of our cash machines
  • Open a new account that’s only in your name – this can help you separate your money so you can manage it independently. Bear in mind that we’ll send any account-opening documents to the address we have on file for you, which might be your ex-partner’s address
  • Remove your abuser as a named cardholder from your cards – this is particularly important if they’re building up debts on your credit card. If you have a Barclaycard, please contact them to see how they can support you
  • Similarly, remove yourself from any joint accounts if you can – if this isn’t an option, you could apply something called a ‘dispute marker’. This will freeze the account and stop the other person from spending on it
  • Check your credit file – look out for loans, overdrafts, store cards or credit cards that may have been taken out in your name or against your property. If there’s anything you didn’t know about, contact the provider as soon as it’s safe to do so. Here’s where you can find out more about your credit file

If you need to speak to someone urgently, call the National Domestic Violence Helpline for free on 0808 200 0247 (they’re available 24/7, and call charges may apply depending on your network or provider). If you or someone else is in immediate danger, always call the police on 999.

For more detailed information about what financial abuse looks like and how we can help you, please read our guide to keeping your money safe [PDF, 637KB].

We are not responsible for, nor do we endorse in any way such third party websites or their content. If you decide to access any of the third party websites, you do so entirely at your own risk.