It’s been a tough week for Lloyds Banking Group – first it had to set aside an additional £700 million to repay people it mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) to, and it’s had to cough up an additional £243 million to cover compensation for people in mortgage arrears who it didn’t treat fairly.
However, I’m pleased to hear it has done one thing right; it’s today launched a service in partnership with charity Macmillan to help customers affected by cancer manage their finances.
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.
According to Macmillan, the dedicated team can help Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds Bank customers with concerns they have managing their personal banking, savings, loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Support could include a mortgage payment holiday or waived fees and account charges for example.
Macmillan says that for 45% of those affected by cancer, the financial impact of the disease comes as a surprise, and that its support line is 25 times more likely to receive calls about financial issues than those related to death or dying.
It also found that sadly four in five (83%) people are worse off as a result of a cancer diagnosis, with an average cost of £570 a month. This is because often people have to factor in numerous extra costs, such as new clothes if they lose or gain weight and increased fuel bills if they are feeling the cold due to treatment. In lots of cases, family members also need to step away from work to care for a loved one too.
To contact Bank of Scotland’s Cancer Support Team call: 0800 015 0166. For Halifax call: 0808 028 2692. And for Lloyds Bank call: 0800 015 0016. The lines are all free to call and are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Nationwide is the other provider in the bank and building society industry to work with Macmillan on such a service. It can be reached on 0800 917 2393 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday).
Let’s hope other providers consider doing the same if they don't already have some form of support scheme set up.
If you need to talk, Macmillan has a free phone line on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or you can visit www.macmillan.org.uk.