Clwyd West MS Darren Millar has commended a scheme which enables people experiencing domestic abuse to walk into any of HSBC UK’s branches where they can seek specialist support and advice, following a visit to one of two ‘Safe Spaces’ in his constituency last week.
Earlier this year HSBC UK signed up to the Safe Spaces initiative and have introduced ‘Safe Spaces’ in each of their branches, including Colwyn Bay and Ruthin.
On Friday, Darren visited the Colwyn Bay branch to find out more about how the initiative is helping people locally.
“One in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes, so it is great news that HSBC have signed up to this initiative and are providing those affected by domestic abuse with a safe place they can turn to.
“Launched by the domestic abuse charity Hestia and its UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, with support from People’s Postcode Lottery Recovery fund, Safe Spaces aims to increase the availability of specialist support for victims of domestic abuse and provides a space for local people to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member.
“During my visit, I learnt more about the scheme and was shown the Safe Space provided at the branch, which included a telephone, helpline numbers, water, colouring books and a few toys.
“It is really reassuring to know that those in Conwy and Denbighshire affected by domestic abuse have somewhere to go in their hour of need where they are completely safe and can easily access the help they need.
“I thank HSBC for offering this vital service in both Colwyn Bay and Ruthin.”
The introduction of Safe Spaces complements HSBC UK’s support for customers experiencing financial abuse. The bank adheres to the UK Finance financial abuse code of practice and supports customers in a variety of ways, including being the first bank to open accounts with a sort code that is non-traceable to a geographic location, separating joint accounts and removing additional cardholders to prevent any further abuse, and reporting concerns to the Office of the Public Guardian where a Power of Attorney is the alleged abuser.