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Only 2 in 5 people are aware of financial abuse

10 December 2015

Citizens Advice has today warned that victims of financial abuse face a day to day reality of control and fear, but only 2 in 5 people are aware it is a form of domestic abuse.

New findings today from the Co-operative Bank and Refuge reveal nearly 1 in 5 adults have been victims of financial abuse. They have announced they are producing guidance for banks to help victims.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:

"Financial abuse traps its victims in a day to day reality of control and fear. Abusers may rack up huge debts in the name of their victim or ensure they alone can spend their victim's income. Yet only 2 in 5 people are aware that domestic abuse can have a financial side.

"Putting in place the right guidance for banks and creditors dealing with victims of financial abuse could make a big difference. The Government can also help tackle financial abuse by reviewing how abusers exploit payment of benefits and tax credits, ahead of the introduction of the Universal Credit single household payment."

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Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.