News: Leading banks to speak at economic abuse conference hosted by Churchill Fellow

Published: 30 Nov 2018

News: Leading banks to speak at economic abuse conference hosted by Churchill Fellow

Representatives from some of the UK's biggest banks will speak at a conference on economic abuse hosted by Churchill Fellow Nicola Sharp-Jeffs’ charity Surviving Economic Abuse. The conference, which will explore how banks and building societies can respond to economic abuse, takes place in London on Thursday 6 December.

Economic abuse occurs when an abusive partner creates economic dependency within a relationship and creates barriers that stop the victim from leaving and becoming self-sufficient. In 2016, Nicola’s Fellowship took her to Australia and the USA to research innovative responses to this issue.

The conference, titled Banking on Change has been prompted by the launch of UK Finance's Code of Practice on Financial Abuse. Nicola believes banks and other financial organisations have an important role to play in tackling economic abuse. She said:

“As providers of everyday financial products, banks have an unrivalled ability to reach and support those impacted by economic abuse. Banks and buildings societies can help customers regain control of their finances and link them into specialist support services.”

The event will also feature talks from those involved in developing and taking forward the UK Code, including The Co-operative Bank and Lloyds Banking Group. Delegates will also hear from Norm Kalcovski, Head of Customer Care for National Australia Bank (NAB), who Nicola met during her Fellowship travels.

Throughout the day, attendees will hear from women who have experienced economic abuse. Nicola hopes the conference will inspire financial institutions to want to do more to help such women. She said:

“We hope that people will hear about the innovative and transformative work that the National Australia Bank is doing in this area and seek to replicate it in the UK. We believe the Code of Practice is a good start, but we also believe that banks can be more ambitious.”

Nicola set up Surviving Economic Abuse after returning from her Fellowship travels. The charity helps women who have experienced economic abuse access support. Nicola has also helped to raise the profile of this issue in the UK, meeting with Government Ministers and speaking about economic abuse on national TV and radio.

Find out more about Banking on Change

Read Nicola’s blog post on economic abuse

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