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New guide helps consumers to safeguard their finances and protect against financial abuse

14th June 2018

Guide developed by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland and member banks

Download a copy of the Guide here.

A new guide aimed at helping consumers safeguard their finances and protect themselves against financial abuse and fraud has been launched today by the banking sector at an event in UCD.

Published by Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) and its member banks with guidance from the National Safeguarding Committee (NSC), the Guide to Safeguarding Your Money Now and in the Future, provides advice to consumers on how to prepare for a time when assistance may be needed to manage their money. It also seeks to raise awareness of financial abuse and fraud, which can impact on anyone regardless of wealth or age.

The guide, which can be downloaded here, will be available from banks and the offices of many NSC members, including HSE Safeguarding Teams across the country, in the coming weeks and has achieved the Plain English mark from NALA. It was developed by BPFI and participating banks AIB, Banking of Ireland, KBC, permanent tsb and Ulster Bank. The guide encourages customers to take control of their banking and to be aware of the risk of financial abuse, which unfortunately can be committed by people known to them.

BPFI participates in the National Safeguarding Committee which seeks to promote a culture of safeguarding vulnerable customers and whose participants include the HSE, many advocacy bodies and charities, as well as service providers and An Garda Siochana. Raising public awareness of financial abuse is key to safeguarding customers and to this end the National Safeguarding Committee has played a crucial role in informing BPFI and members of the experience of adults at risk.

Earlier this year saw the publication of a BPFI commissioned report (available here) into the experience of frontline bank staff with financial abuse. Produced by UCD, the report provides a unique insight into the experience of frontline bank staff in dealing with vulnerable customers who are the subject of financial abuse/fraud. A main finding was that safeguarding the finances of vulnerable customers is an important concern for banks in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of today’s guide, Louise O’ Mahony, Head of Sustainable Banking, BPFI, said: “We all need to prepare for the likelihood that one day we may need extra assistance to manage our financial affairs in a way that reflects our needs when we feel vulnerable. Some simple actions now will help make our lives easier and ensure those helping us know what we want. As well as seeking to arm consumers with information to help protect themselves and their finances through this new guide, BPFI member retail banks have implemented policies and procedures to guide their staff, and they all provide training on the approach to vulnerable customers. These activities along with our participation in the National Safeguarding Committee and our involvement in preparations for the Assisted Decision Making legislation reflect the banking sector’s commitment to be part of the national dialogue required to enable an adequate safeguarding environment for vulnerable adults.”

 

For further information contact Jillian Heffernan, BPFI, jillian.heffernan@bpfi.ie  087 9016880

Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) represents the banking, payments and fintech sector in Ireland.  Together with its affiliates, the Federation of International Banks in Ireland and the Fintech & Payments Association of Ireland, BPFI has over 70 member institutions and associates, including licensed domestic and foreign banks and institutions operating in the financial marketplace here.

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