Lloyds Bank sets up a dedicated phone line to help customers with cancer cope with the financial effects
Britain’s biggest bank has launched a helpline to offer extra financial support to customers with cancer.
Lloyds Bank has launched a new service in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to help people affected by cancer manage their finances.
Calls will be taken by a special team at Lloyds Bank, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland, trained a team from Macmillan.
They will offer mortgage repayment holidays, reduce interest rates and waive overdraft fees.
Macmillan says that 2.4m people are currently living with a cancer diagnosis in the UK and for many the financial impact of the disease comes as a surprise. Macmillan’s Support Line is reportedly 25x more likely to receive calls about financial issues than those related to death or dying.
Patients having to take time off work and travel to the hospital regularly for treatment means 83% people are, on average, £570 a month worse off as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Family members may also need to stop working to care for a loved one. According to figures, only 11% of people are turning to their bank for help.
Lloyds Banking Group’s new Cancer Support Team has been trained by Macmillan so they understand the financial impact of a cancer diagnosis and can offer bespoke support. The dedicated team can help customers with concerns they have and with managing their personal banking, savings, loans, mortgages and credit cards.
Martin King, head of strategy and capability at Lloyds, said: “Each case is individual. It may be that people have money in term deposits, where an early exit would normally attract penalties. We can help with that.”
The group also has plans to widen this out to other health problems. It has been working with Mental Health UK on devising a similar system for those with mental health problems. It also works with Grief Encounter to help people who have been bereaved.
Nationwide set up a similar hotline two years ago, which now covers those with other life-threatening illnesses and people with mental health problems.
Lloyds’ new helpline will be open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0800 015 0016.