UK charity GambleAware has published a guide to help companies in the financial services market reduce gambling-related harm to customers.
For the research, the charity analysed transactional data from over 10,000 Monzo customers and around 1.5 million HSBC customers.
GambleAware worked alongside the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) on the research to better understand how banks could help their customers that are vulnerable to gambling.
The charity claimed that the new practical guide for banks offers ‘real-life examples of what firms can do the identify and support customers who are at risk of gambling-related financial harms’.
Furthermore, GambleAware said the guide highlights the value of financial companies proactively analysing customer transaction data for spending patterns and behavioural signs.
Since 2019, many banks – such as Lloyds, NatWest, Starling and Barclays – have introduced ‘gambling blocks’ to their technology, which allows customers to prevent spending on a bank card at gambling outlets both in-person and online.
Monzo highlighted that of those who used its gambling blocker, a week before the blocker was activated their daily gambling spend tripled – while gamblers were found to have less money on average in the internal saving pots than non-gamblers.
PFRC research director Professor Sharon Collard said, “At a conservative estimate, at least five million people in Britain experience harmful gambling, either because of their own gambling or someone else’s.
“Regulated financial services firms are well-placed to address the financial harms linked to gambling-related vulnerability and our practical guide shows them how. Doing this may have knock-on benefits for other dimensions of gambling harm, such as people’s mental health.”
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