Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse. It’s a crime and should be reported to the police.
Financial abuse can take many forms so will look different within different relationships.
A partner is often the one carrying out the abuse, but it can also come from other relationships – for example, family members, friends and carers.
Someone abusive might prevent you having control over your money as a way of having power over you.
Sometimes, they might be physically violent.
Financial abuse in the home – whether it’s accompanied by aggression or physical violence – can leave you feeling isolated, lacking in confidence and trapped.
Financial abuse from a family member, friend, partner or carer can be when someone:
- takes out money or gets credit in your name without your knowledge or permission
- makes you hand over control of your accounts
- cashes in your pension or other cheques without your permission
- adds their name to your account
- asks you to change your will
- has offered to buy shopping or pay bills with your money, but you don’t see this happening, or
- prevents you seeing other friends and family.
Financial abuse from a partner can be when someone:
- prevents you working or going to work
- prevents you going to college or university
- asks you to account for every time you spend money
- prevents you accessing your bank, loan or credit card accounts
- prevents you buying essential items
- takes out credit cards or loans in your name
- spends your household budget on things without telling you, or
- puts all the bills in your name only.
Taking the first steps to break free of financial abuse is very brave. It may seem scary but you don’t have to do it alone.
There are ways your bank, building society, lender or other financial-service provider can help you. It’s really important to talk to someone.