Following last week’s Talk Money Week, UK charity GamCare has voiced its support for open public discussions about personal finance.
The annual #TalkMoney campaign was organised by Money Pensions and Services (MaPS), with this year’s event coming at a time of increased player safety awareness in the country.
Financial worries caused by gambling were regarded as an essential talking point, with extra guidance on numerous payment matters considered vital in this respect.
Both GamCare and MaPS emphasise the importance of financial well-being
According to GamCare, “nearly three-quarters” of individuals seeking help via the charity’s gambling hotline cited “some level of gambling debt or financial hardship” as part of their problems. According to the charity, many callers felt a stigma when it came to calling their banks and understanding what choices they had.
When circling back to MaPS’s #TalkMoney objectives, GamCare emphasised the importance of financial well-being in the road to recovery for problem gamblers.
MaPS sought to encourage the general public to engage in open dialogues about personal debt and credit cards, as well as loans and savings accounts.
GamCare urges banks to continue engaging customers
The majority of individuals banked in the UK now have access to optional gambling transaction blockers and timers through their account. GamCare reiterated the importance of British banks making sure that their customers have the necessary support when they need it.
Popular neo-bank Monzo told GamCare that: “All of our specialist support team have been trained in how to support people who are struggling with gambling, and they’d all be delighted to spend some time getting to know you and your needs. All you have to do is reach out and ask. You can let us know by going to the ‘Help’ screen in your app and searching.”
Transparency is a necessity
According to GamCare, numerous callers looking for help were worried about being denied financial services if they admitted to participating in gambling. However, the charity said: “We have spoken to many leaders who confirmed to us that it’s simply not the case”.
Financial companies were told by the organisation to be transparent about their reasons for denying any credit service, if the individual on the other end admitted their gambling problems. Consumers were pointed in the direction of Experian and Equifax, where they can find out their options and lending status.
The charity was also worried that users at risk of gambling-related harms were not aware of confidentiality protection for their personal information.