Money and Mental Health welcomes new plans for customer spending controls from more high street banks

04 January 2019


This week a number of major high street banks have revealed plans to give customers new more powers to control spending and manage their finances. Lloyds, Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have indicated that they will introduce new tools in 2019 to enable customers to block payment on certain types of spending, such as gambling or retail. This follows the introduction of similar measures by Monzo, Starling and Barclays last year.


The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute has been campaigning for financial firms to give customers more tools to control spending since 2017. In response to the new plans reported this week, Helen Undy, Director of Money and Mental Health, said: These plans for new spending controls – if put in place – could help millions of people across the country to better manage their finances, and to avoid spending or gambling problems. In particular, it could make a big difference for people with mental health problems, who are more at risk of impulsive spending and compulsive behaviour.

“In the past year we’ve seen great progress on this issue, with banks such as Barclays, Monzo and Starling giving their customers more tools to control problem spending. We’re delighted to see this momentum continuing into 2019, and we urge Lloyds, Santander and RBS to act on these plans in the coming months.

“We also hope they will consider how they can make these tools harder to switch on and off, which will make them more effective for customers. That will help many more people across the UK to avoid the devastation that problem spending and gambling can bring.”



To find about more the links between mental health problems and gambling visit:


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Notes to Editors

About Money and Mental Health Policy Institute

  • The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute was set up by Martin Lewis in spring 2016, registered charity number 1166493.
  • It conducts research and develops policies for essential services firms, regulators, the health service and government to help people with mental health problems protect themselves from financial difficulties and get out of debt.
  • Martin Lewis OBE, Money Saving Expert, is an award-winning campaigning broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He founded in 2003 for £100 and remains its full-time Editor-in- Chief. It is now the UK’s biggest money site, with more than 14 million monthly users. Martin has his own prime-time ITV programme – The Martin Lewis Money Show – and is resident expert on This Morning, Good Morning Britain and BBC Radio 5 Live’s Consumer Panel, among others.
  • Helen Undy is a passionate mental health campaigner and became the Institute’s Director in 2018, having previously led the Institute’s impact and communications work.