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Guide launched to help banks reduce gambling harms

The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has launched a new best practice guide to help banks and building societies support the growing number of customers affected by gambling harms.

The new guide sets out ideas and advice on how banks can better identify and reach out to customers at risk.

 

It has been produced to help banks follow the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) guidance on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, with recommended actions all relating to relevant sections of the FCA guidance.

 

The guide focuses on three key areas where banks can make the biggest difference in supporting those at risk:

  • Creating a culture of support, and ensuring staff are equipped to help;
  • Identifying and reaching out to those at risk;
  • Supporting and empowering those at risk.

Helen Undy, chief executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said: “Gambling problems can cause utter devastation for those affected and their loved ones. Banks are in a unique position to help, and we have been hugely encouraged by the progress made in recent years, especially with the increasing number of banks offering the option for customers to block gambling on their cards.

 

“But there are still important opportunities for banks to build on this progress and to step up support for those at risk. We hope this guide can equip firms with the practical advice and ideas they need to take the next steps in improving support for customers, no matter how advanced or otherwise they are in this work.

 

Tim Miller, executive director at the Gambling Commission, said: “To have a real and lasting impact on tackling gambling harms there must be a multi-sector partnership approach, and the financial sector has a particularly important role to play.

 

“This guide sets out useful ideas and steps firms can take to help protect those at risk, building on the progress they have made over recent years. We hope it will help financial services firms to continue to have a meaningful impact in reducing the financial and other harms which can result from gambling problems.”

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