Welcome to our Help section, where you’ll find guidance on a range of popular topics.
We hope you’ll find this information useful, but if there’s anything not covered here that you need our support with, please just get in touch to speak to a member of our friendly team.
This guidance explains how you can manage a bank or building society on another persons behalf. It describes the circumstances where it is possible and how it can be done. The guidance applies to England and Wales.
We’re here to help
We understand that anyone can find themselves struggling financially, often due to unforeseen circumstances and no fault of their own. Bills can pile up and it becomes difficult to make ends meet. If this happens to you, it might be quite scary and you may be tempted to ignore the situation hoping things will improve.
If you're worried about paying your mortgage please contact us so that we can support and explore the options available.
However, if you find yourself in this situation, the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand and let your borrowing mount up. Instead, it’s important to ask for help, so that we can help you navigate a way through your financial problems.
Free and Impartial Independent support
If you’re struggling with your finances, you might also want to consider contacting a free debt advice organisation, and there are several out there that will be only too willing to assist you in understanding your problem, analysing your budget and outgoings, prioritising your debts and, if necessary, negotiating with your creditors to agree a manageable way of repaying what you owe and getting back on track.
Debt Advice Organisations
Free advice on debt, benefits, housing, legal matters, employment and general consumer issues.
0800 144 8848
Money Advice Service
Free advice on debt, divorce and separation, setting up a new home, care and disability.
0800 138 7777
Stepchange Debt Charity
Free advice on bankruptcy, charging orders, employment, benefits, money management and mortgage and repossession support.
0800 138 1111
National Debt Line
Free and confidential advice on debt in general.
0808 808 4000
Business Debt Line
Free and independent debt advice
0800 197 6026
MoneySavingExpert – Money and Mental Health
No debt problems are unsolvable. It might not be easy or quick, but there's always a route. When mental health problems are involved, some special solutions apply.
We welcome your feedback
We would love to hear your feedback, to help us constantly monitor and improve our service to you. Whether you have received fantastic service or have a suggestion for things we could add or improve on, we’d love to hear your views, via firstname.lastname@example.org
We aim to provide our customers with the highest standards of service. However, there may be an occasion when you feel we fall short of your expectations and, if this happens, we will do all we can to put things right.
How do I complain?
We recommend that, in the first instance, you contact our branch team by writing to us, calling us via (01482) 881510 or email us: email@example.com and discuss the situation. Hopefully, they will be able to resolve things for you straightaway.
However, if, having done this, you still wish to make a complaint in writing, by letter or email, or verbally, either by telephone or face to face, please contact us setting out the details of your complaint.
How will I know my complaint has been received and how will it be dealt with?
We will do our utmost to resolve your complaint within three business days of receiving it and come back to you with our proposal for resolving it. In more complex circumstances, requiring more investigation, we will confirm that we have received your complaint within five business days of the date of receipt and will also confirm who is dealing with the matter.
Your complaint should be resolved within eight weeks from the date of receipt (15 working days if in relation to the provision of payment services) and we will provide you with our final response. If we cannot provide you with a final response within this timescale we will:
If we do provide you with a final response and you are not satisfied with it, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service via 0800 023 4567 , or visit the website www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/contact-us/complain-online and outline your complaint to them. They may intervene on your behalf if they judge our response inadequate.
The best way to prevent fraudsters and scammers from getting their hands on your hard-earned cash is to know how to protect yourself in the first place.
The tips below explain some of the things you can do to protect yourself and what to do if you become a victim.
Be careful with passwords and financial documents
Don’t use the same password for multiple accounts even though you may be tempted to – this decreases the chance of someone else being able to access several accounts belonging to you.
NEVER write passwords down or give your password, bank account details or PIN to anyone.
If your PIN can be guessed easily (e.g. 1234 or 0000) change it NOW!
You should try to change your passwords regularly and make sure they are complex and difficult to guess. A complex password includes a combination of letters (upper and lower case), numbers and symbols.
Shred or burn all financial and personal information. Even a standard branded letter or envelope may show you have a relationship with an organisation. You would amazed how criminals can piece together enough information to defraud you from the simplest of things.
Take care of your passbook and other account information, let us know immediately if your passbook is lost or stolen and advise us of any change in your personal contact details as soon as possible.
Monitor your account activity regularly
You should monitor all your accounts regularly and if you spot any unauthorised transaction, contact your building society or bank straightaway.
Let us know immediately if you do not receive any information from us that you are expecting.
If you are paying a cheque into your account, make the cheque payable to yourself and add your account number on the ‘payee’ line.
Looking after a vulnerable or elderly person
The vulnerable and elderly are often targeted and befriended by fraudsters, and can often be the hardest hit. They may be afflicted by illness, such as dementia, and it’s not uncommon for people to lose their life savings, get into debt or suffer additional health problems if they fall for a scam.
If you care for a vulnerable or elderly person, there are warning signs you can look out for, such as receiving a lot of junk mail, phone calls from strangers or becoming secretive when discussing their finances.
If you are concerned that a vulnerable or elderly person is being targeted for fraud, contact us or the police immediately.
Seven helpful hints to protect you against fraud
We take your privacy and security seriously. To help protect you, here’s a recap of some simple steps you can take to keep your personal information and account(s) secure:
Fraudsters may call and pretend that they are your building society/bank or the Police and tell you there’s a problem with your account passbook, debit or credit card. They may ask you for personal details, suggest you key your card PIN into the phone or tell you they are sending a courier to collect your passbook/card. Fraudsters sometimes say they are from a satellite TV provider, phone or utility company and offer you a refund but to process the refund, they’ll ask you for account details or to do a transaction involving your debit card. NEVER give them your account details, password or PIN.
Often, they will fire several snippets of information at you in the hope that perhaps one of them will ring true, and convince you to part with precious information or payment details. However, legitimate organisations will NEVER ask you to take action such as this over the telephone, so tell them to write you, without giving them your address details, and out the phone down. If they are genuine, they will have your details and will be willing to take the time to get in touch with you via this more official method.
Alternatively, tell them that you are going to hang up and call them back, and find the telephone number for the company they claim to represent. If they are bona fide, you will be able to make contact this way, if they’re not, you can flag the scam up to the organisation concerned, so that they can investigate further.
Be aware that scammers sometimes don’t hang up after the initial call so always check the call is properly disconnected before calling the bank or Police to report them – wait five minutes or use a different phone if you can to do this.
Look out for emails, websites and hyperlinks
Be careful of any email from a retailer, building society or bank that is badly-worded or littered with spelling mistakes, or of any email that has an urgent deadline for response. A common type of email scam relates to purported tax rebates. HMRC will never email you about any money you are owed – it will always write to you via the post.
You should NEVER click on a link and enter your password – no matter how genuine it looks. NEVER open an attachment unless you are 100% sure of its contents, as this can provide the fraudster with access to your computer and personal information.
If you are not familiar with a website, BE WARY, as bogus websites are sometimes set up to facilitate financial crime and just because something comes up via a popular search engine, it doesn’t mean it’s reputable.
Always log out properly from any online service, avoid using computers in public places and be careful of carrying out sensitive transactions over public wi-fi, which could inadvertently give fraudsters access to your accounts.
Keep your web browser up-to-date, install recommended updates to all your apps, as these often relate to security; and protect your PC with the latest anti-virus software, as web viruses are one method commonly used by criminals to steal money.
Keeping you safe
We take your privacy and security seriously. To help you remain vigilant, here is a list of things we will never do:
What to do if you are suspicious or if you become the victim of a scam?
Scammers continue to find ever-more creative ways to get their hands on your cash, so this guide can never be completely comprehensive.
One simple principle to remember at all times is ‘if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’.