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Should banks have a duty of care?

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#1 Posted on:
Sat, 25/02/2017 - 18:03



I'm not looking to blame anyone for my gambling losses, but I believe the bank could have handled things better to help me. 

Does anyone agree that banks should do more to help problem gamblers?

My bank were absolutely useless and still are when it comes to helping me with my gambling addiction.

A matter of years ago I came clean with the bank about my serious gambling problem and asked if there was anything to safeguard me against gambling online, such as them being able to block any deposits to gambling websites. They told me there was nothing like that they could do.

A while later, I realised that when I had a gambling slip, my authorised overdraft was deadly. It meant extra access to funds but being in debt after. Once again, I spoke to 1 of the managers of the bank, explained my gambling problem and told them could they remove any authorised overdraft on my account for good. They told me this would be done for me.

A few months later I remember having a letter in the post from them telling me an authorised overdraft had been activated on my account. So for a few months I had no authorised overdraft as requested, but then automatically they put an authorised overdraft on my account again without me asking a few months later.

Worse still, the authorised overdraft given was £2000 (the max they let me have before I requested having no overdraft was £400). I ended up losing the whole £2000 in a slip. It took me a year to pay back.

After that, I decided to get my card downgraded to a cash only card so I couldn't do any transactions online. Staff were clueless. At first they told me it was done and instead of having a new card, my debit card was now a "cash only" card and couldn't be used online at all. A few days later when I tested it, it still worked online fine. I got in touch with them again and another staff member told me what I was told was incorrect and they needed to issue me with a new "cash only" card. 

All was good at first, until I realised how it would affect me. Like with not being able to do online shopping, so once again I requested a debit card and got it.

I'm not trying to blame the bank at all, but surely they should be able to help people with gambling problems more? Especially as a few banks are currently trialing restrictive methods which are designed to help people with shopping addictions. Such as letting the customer disable their debit card for a set amount of time, allowing the customer to set weekly transaction limits and setting maximum single transaction limits.

I'm certain that for most of us, if all banks did this, very few of us would have as many struggles with gambling as we do.

So, someone could have no authorised overdraft at all, have it so direct debits can go out as normal but have a limit on their account of £50 in debit card transactions/cash machine withdrawals per week which cannot be changed for a month.

Maybe Gamcare and other gambling recovery entity's should be campaigning for this to happen?

Because currently, we all know if we self exclude at 1 casino, there's others. If we set limits at 1 casino there's others. If we have blocking software installed, we can still take money out of the bank and go into the bookies or arcade. Many of us don't have anyone to manage our money for us, and even with some that do, when the gambling addict side comes in, people managing our money can easily be tricked into giving us money for an "important bill".

What does everyone else think? 

Posted on:
Sat, 25/02/2017 - 21:39



I don't think there's anything banks could possibly do. If someone wants to gamble they can use many different forms of payment & banks aren't around to babysit people's money.

There will always be a way to gamble for those that wish to & nothing a bank could do could stop it in my opinion.

Posted on:
Sat, 25/02/2017 - 22:09



Man I definately know what you mean, why can't a bank or building society acknowledge a customers plight to have the amount of cash available to them restricted or not to release payments to certain places?

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 02:11



How else could they gamble fatuesque?

At the end of the day, a few banks recognise that shopping addiction is a problem and are trialing limits to stop people who have this sort of problem. So why should it not be done for gambling addicts?

What if someone doesn't have anyone who can manage their money? Or what if the person managing someones money is a pushover?

All money gambled online or offline would go through someones bank account so surely having a limit on their account set would help stop cravings (knowing they cant gamble at all would prevent thoughts of gambling).

I know this too well from experience as well. In the last year I lost, through slips around £20,000. The biggest loss in 1 session was around £7000. All slips were sudden impulse, not something I fully planned before but just a spur of the moment thing. Had I been able to set myself limits to £50 a week on my debit card, there is no way I would have caused as much damage or had the slips because when I slip, I often think "it's ok, if I lose £100 because I have another £500 in my bank to try and win it back". Not being able to deposit the money to begin with would have helped me greatly

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 10:35

Forum admin


Hi all

Thank you for this useful topic. We have moved it to the debates and discussions section.

Best wishes

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 12:05


Before 2009

Shopping addiction gambaling addiction same thing really
So if they're trialling it for shopping addiction the same format could be used for someone with gambaling addiction could it not?

Bank's won't jump over their selves to offer what you're asking because transaction fee's is how they make their cash it's worth 6 billion a year to each bank I believe.
Basically every time customer makes a transaction the bank gets paid a fee from the recipient
It's why the offer free accounts and pay you interest.

Bank's love you making transactions.

Maybe look at having a notice of correction on your credit report which states you don't want to be considered for any credit?
That way as they have to check your eligibility they won't add anything unwanted


Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 15:06



You ask  "How else could they gamble"

They could "borrow" money under false pretences from anyone and everyone. They could steal from friends, family, your business. They can pawn everything they can get their hands on for some cash. The list goes on and that is just my personal experience.

Then who do I blame and ask to help my son stop gambling?

Banks are in business to make money and are not a social service.

Sorry if I sound bi***y but over the 10+ years of dealing with my son I have heard all the retoric and from my end it's just one more person/thing to blame.





Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 19:03



Hi Everyone 

Its an interesting one this. Banks should help more but they cant and wont really. Their products arent really set up to help and monitor us in that way. Ultimately they dont care what you spend  or where you spend it as long as they arent at risk. They will ultimately take you to court for an unauthorized overdraft but the computers will prevent withdrawals long before it worries the bank too much 

Also admitting to your financial institition that you are not in control can be risky. If they think you arent stable it can affect your relationship with them.

Thet see it as the thin end of the wedge and they arent really there to tell you how to spend. They also make money from overdraft fees and they wont pay staff to run a nanny service as they might see it

They wouldnt reduce my cash withdrawal limit when I casually told them I had a spending problem. I didnt really want to admit to a full on gambling problem...maybe that was my error

As we all know and its already been said...they are really not a social service...they are a business....they charge interest on what you borrow and fees on anything you do wrong.

The answer is  NO overdraft facilities and that should be shut down as soon as possible. I dont have the possibility of an overdraft and I dont want one. I have a small credit card which is monitored and the limit kept very low even when they try and raise it

The answer is in other blocks or finding a way not to know the security number on bank cards. The answer is not being able to access the cash machine and living on an allowance monitored by family and people close.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 19:22




An interesting question. When i was at my gambling worst i would ask the bank for a bigger overdraft (authorised), a loan (authorised), increased cc limit (authorised).

All with no questions asked as to why i needed extra. No questions on how i was going to pay all this back but when it all went wrong they wanted there monies ASAP.

Even with Stepchange they (Lloyds) tried to be difficult but eventually relented

Now i have one card with a debit facility and cash withdrawal facility with a different financial institution.

Perhaps credit was to easy to get.

Best wishes

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 20:12



Banks aren't there to babysit. Where would they draw the line anyway given the amount of potentially harmful substances/activities available? The answer is as JD says to have an account with strictly no OD facilities. Several banks offer theses basic accounts because they have to but they won't tell you about them because they don't make anything on them.

Agree with Bal though. Mr L was able to lay his hands on eye watering amounts in loans and credit cards with no questions asked and he was able to do it all over again within a few months of everything being closed down all of which was noted on his credit reports. Why this rang no alarm bells is entirely beyond me and IMO that's where their system is falling down. Not that they'll do anything about it. Snouts way too deep in the trough.

Posted on:
Sun, 26/02/2017 - 21:29

[email protected]


The buck stops with you. What are you doing about it? Blame the bank, blame the evil bookie, blame mummy & daddy or your terrible opportunities in life. Where does that get you? A pity party. You & only you can change this. Spend less time looking to blame & more time on your part in this & maybe you will see progress.

Posted on:
Mon, 27/02/2017 - 17:06



I think banks should definitely do more.  They seem happy to increase credit limits on credit cards when it's obvious that all the spending is going on gambling.  There's not much they can do about debit cards, but I don't think it's right that they increase credit limits so easily - I don't think gambling transactions should be allowed on credit cards.

Posted on:
Mon, 08/05/2017 - 09:54




<a href="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</a> wrote:
The buck stops with you. What are you doing about it? Blame the bank, blame the evil bookie, blame mummy & daddy or your terrible opportunities in life. Where does that get you? A pity party. You & only you can change this. Spend less time looking to blame & more time on your part in this & maybe you will see progress.

Your right, blaming elsewhere is the easy way out. We all know deep down we only have ourselves to blame and it's only us who can change.

Posted on:
Mon, 08/05/2017 - 20:07



andyrr wrote:

I think banks should definitely do more.  They seem happy to increase credit limits on credit cards when it's obvious that all the spending is going on gambling.  There's not much they can do about debit cards, but I don't think it's right that they increase credit limits so easily - I don't think gambling transactions should be allowed on credit cards.

Yes thats a very interesting point. You wouldnt have thought in a right minded society that gambling transactions would NOT be allowed on a credit card. 

Its a statement that I do irresponsible things with borrowed money which is doubly dangerous.  To borrow money to gamble with should set the alarm bell ringing on the wall

Its odd but not if you consider that credit card companies play a game of risk and do actually like customers with a heavy debt to pay back. They like raising limits and they like debt. They actually dont like the people who pay it off every month. They have created this money out of thin air so look forward to the interest and legitimisation of a large debt

I have read the payday loan companies will accept gambling debts as a reason to borrow which also seems very strange.

Unfortunately it seems that the finance companies are not on our side. They should be more responsible

Best wishes

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 10:27



I have gone through a similar thing. I maxed my £800 overdraft on online gambling, so took out a 2nd account with a £2,000 overdraft that I quickly maxed.

Next I took a loan, for £8,000 - lost it and upped the loan to £13,000 - lost that too.

This was all in the space of a couple of weeks and all completed online, usually in the early hours.

Yes, I did it all myself. I am responsible for my own actions and I am now working 2 jobs to pay it all off ASAP and have an 18-month plan to be debt free and start saving to buy a house, although my credit rating will also need some work.

However, I was in a vulnerable and volatile place, and the bank could see where each piece of credit I was given went into online gambling sites. I would consider it irresponsible lending.

Safeguards should be in place.

I still have the itch to gamble and each month when I get paid I pay off as much of my debt as I can afford immediately to empty my account so that I can't blow all my money again. There have been one or two mishaps although I am not doing too bad.

For anyone that's interested, I try to control it by allwoing myself a £1 bet each day, so I can still feel the buzz/stress/tension whatever you wanna call it.

These £1 bets have potential payouts of anything from £5 to the £10,000 I need, depending on what mood I am in each day.

Good luck to all out there, it's only money at the end of the day remember, there are still people that love you and need your love in return.


Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:57



I don't expect the banks to take responsibility for me, they are not there to control my irresponsible behaviour. I did a stupid thing and I have to take the consequences.

What I do find odd is how in the past I have gone out Christmas shopping with my wife when the children were younger and we would end up using the credit card for multiple transactions. Quite often they would not be huge individual purchases (maybe between £10-£50 each) and well within our credit limit but for a couple of years running when we got towards the end of the day we have our card refused and when I spoke to the card company when stood in the shop, they said sorry, it is just that your spending was out of your normal routine of only perhaps 3 or 4 transactions a day at the most, so we just wanted to check everying was alright. We are your friendly bank just looking out for you. 

Constrast this to me depositing £250 to a online casino website eight times in one gambling binge in the early hours of one morning until I hit my credit limit. This did not seem to register as unusual to my bank's automated systems.

I think the moral is, there is no-one out there who is going to protect you, the gambling industry, the government, the banks, the payday lenders, they all have fingers in the pie and are quite happy to turn a blind eye when they make so much money out of our reckless behaviour. 

You got to do it for yourself using whatever willpower, blocks, friends/family you can use to assist.

Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 14:27

Cynical wife


The banks didn’t clock my husband’s dealings with our children’s accounts. Worse, when I asked for copy statements first time round, they wouldn’t give them to me - data protection. I had ID and birth certificates, the works, the clerks were looking at their screens and they could see what had been going on...but the accounts were in my husband’s name, not mine, so Data Protection.

Each person has to look after themselves out there, even kids.


Posted on:
Wed, 01/11/2017 - 14:46



We have to realise that banks are there to create money from debt through interest charges and to play the overnight and future money markets with any deposits we have.

I find it strange that they wouldnt flag up a customer with a string of online gambling transactions. They all have their hand in the same pie and credit card companies dont actually like people who pay off a small balance every month. It costs them money to provide the card transactions.Thats why they are always upping limits to allow temptation to grab hold and draw the customer into a regular interest payment. The calculation is that they know there will be a percentage of defaulters but its still a huge money making scheme as most will keep paying through obligation and fear.

Even when they get rapped knuckles and a compensation fine like the shop recently in the news....... its still a huge money making scheme that they have calculated the odds on just like the gambling industry

Ive worked in a bank and they love employing someone to go down a sheet of all the "naughty" customers. It equals lovely lolly for them as they hit all the people on that list with late or o/d fees.

The adverts that they are "by your side" are stretching the limits of credibility. Beyond their own risk assessment, they dont care how you spend or totally waste the money.

I feel that the banks should have a registered scheme to block all gambling transactions but the banks are not on our side and never really have been.

Best wishes to everyone on the forum