“Banks are determined to give people who are going through difficult times the best possible service. The prevailing emphasis has shifted from developing dedicated products to focussing on much more empathetic standards of service. But this isn’t always an easy issue to get right. For example, some people do not feel very comfortable talking about very personal issues like illnesses with people they don’t know well – and sometimes a bank’s best intentions can come across as intrusive. That is why we’ve been working with charities, consumer groups and experts to understand what needs to improve.

“The momentum behind this new approach to customers who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances is growing. Just last week we launched new guidance for banks to help staff identify and assist people with health conditions to manage their finances, at the same time a dedicated ATM card for the visually impaired was launched and in the past few weeks guidance on how to delegate payments was published by the Payments Council.

“Having helped the FCA to understand the underlying issues as they compiled their recent report, we look forward to working further with them to build on the changes we’ve made to make banking work for the people and families who need help the most.”