Help if you are experiencing financial difficulties.

Your bank will be signed up to a set of standards called the Lending Code, which commits them to acting sympathetically and positively if you are experiencing financial difficulties.

Contact your bank or lender as soon as you think you will experience financial difficulties and they will work with you to overcome them. This will include:

  • Consider stopping asking for repayments from you for at least 30 days to allow you time to get advice or present a repayment plan;
  • Make sure your repayments leave you with enough money to meet reasonable day-to-day living expenses;
  • Consider reducing or suspending interest and charges if these would cause the debt to increase or lead to the repayment term becoming too extended; and
  • Consider accepting token repayments (a small amount you can afford) until your situation improves.

If you owe money to a number of lenders, independent money advice may be recommended.

If you have any mental or physical health issues that affect your ability to repay your debts, you should let your lender know so they can make appropriate arrangements.

How to make a complaint

If you are unhappy with your bank’s service, they will tell you how to make a complaint and how quickly they will deal with it. If they cannot settle the complaint to your satisfaction, you may ask the free, independent Financial Ombudsman Service to look into it.

Their contact details are:

Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London
E14 9SR.

Phone: 0845 080 1800

Email: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

What other protection do I have?

As well as the Lending Code, lenders must at all times follow the Consumer Credit Act, the Equality Act, and other legislation such as the Payment Services Regulations and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

If you want more information about your rights under the Consumer Credit Act, you can contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service by calling 08454 04 05 06 or using their website at: www.adviceguide.org.uk.

If you would like more information on the Lending Code, which covers personal loans, credit cards & charge cards, and current account overdrafts, see our publication A guide to the Lending Code here.

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