Lloyds Banking Group Plc (LON:LLOY) is launching a support team tasked with helping customers who suffer economic abuse at the hands of their partners, Reuters has reported.
The newswire said earlier today that the British lender was training five staffers to provide a telephone hotline offering advice and guidance to at-risk customers. Such customers will be initially referred to Lloyds by charity partners and victim refuges, according to the report. The team will be based in Newport, South Wales.
“One in four women and one in six men will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes. When you think we have 25 million customers, and around 67,000 staff, the reason for us to address this is clear,” Martin King, head of customer vulnerability at Lloyds, said in an interview with Reuters.
One of the bank’s charity partners, Surviving Economic Abuse, last month published a report showing that six in 10 domestic abuse survivors claim that their partner had built up debt in their name forced them to borrow money or make a purchase against their will.
The team will be trained to provide help in various cases of domestic economic abuse. More complex cases will be referred to a specialist panel with powers to amend mortgage rates, divide and even cancel some problem debts.
The bank aiming to launch a pilot of the economic, financial and domestic abuse hotline by September.
The Lloyds share price has edged lower in today’s trading. At 15:51 BST, the bank’s shares were trading at 49.70 GBX apiece, having fallen 0.57% since the start of the day. At this price level, the company has a total market capitalisation of £34.91, according to Google Finance data.