How can I help family and friends who are self-isolating?

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s especially important that those who are most vulnerable have the support they may need. You might have concerns about how you can support safely if they are self-isolating.

We can help you support your family, friends or neighbours with managing money. So that even if you are away from the person you can still help them at this difficult time.

Coronavirus and money concerns

How to manage your money

If, by supporting someone there is a financial impact on you, there are practical ways you can also reduce your outgoings during this difficult time.

These could range from planning an emergency budget to reducing your monthly spend. See our ten tips to help you reduce your outgoings.

For additional support, see our FAQs about the impact of coronavirus and your money.

Supporting someone else to manage their money

Online Banking is safer and easier than you might think. You can do most everyday banking tasks securely online, including things like quickly being paid back for shopping you have picked up for friends or family.

You can register in just a few minutes and we have a step-by-step guide that’s easy to follow for someone new to Online Banking. We’ll keep an eye on your account and warn you about scams and to get advice on how to stay safe online, follow our scam code.

Bank securely from home with Online Banking

Managing your money with Online Banking and our Mobile Banking app is easy:

  • View your balance and transactions at any time, using any device.
  • Keep  track of your spending and see when future planned payments are going out.
  • Pay bills and send money to people safely.
  • Manage your direct debits and standing orders.
  • Pay in cheques by taking a photo through our app – up to £1,000 per cheque, with a £2,000 daily limit.
  • Freeze transactions – using our app you can control how and where your cards are used.

Find out more here


Nominating someone as a trusted person

You may be helping someone by grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions.

If you need to regularly go shopping, pay bills or make small cash withdrawals for someone else you can become their trusted person. This means they would give you third-party access to their account. 

Third-party access

If someone can’t get to their local branch, they can appoint someone to manage their everyday banking transactions by using a third-party mandate arrangement, which is a formal instruction from the account holder to us.

It allows the trusted person to help support with everyday banking in branch or over the phone, such as making payments and they can also be given a debit card to help with shopping.

  • Ask the trusted person to come into your local branch and speak to our branch colleagues who can set this up.
  • The nominated trusted person will need to bring suitable ID of the person whose account they need to access. This can be their passport, or photo driving licence.
  • One of our colleagues at the branch will phone the person whose account is being accessed to confirm the trusted person can act on their behalf and check that they are happy for this to go ahead.

This needs to be set up in branch with the permission of the account holder. Find out how.

We’re open to help with essential banking – 10:00am to 2:00pm, Monday – Friday

To keep everybody safe, please only visit us in branch if what you need to do is really essential. We are currently only offering essential services in branch at the moment. Our branches will open again fully, ready to help you, as soon as it is safe to do so.

We’re keeping as many branches open as we can, but in some cases, we may have to temporarily close a branch.

We’ve made some changes to our opening hours and services we’re providing at the moment. Most of our branches are open between 10am and 2pm Monday to Friday. To find out if your local branch is open and when please check our branch locator.

How to have a good conversation about money

It’s understandable that you might not feel comfortable talking about your money with your loved ones, especially at this current uncertain time. But it’s sometimes those conversations that are the most important ones to have. We are here to help you have those conversations.

You can find free and impartial money advice at the Money Advice Service.


3 Tips to help you start a money conversation

  1. Listen as well as talk
    By listening you will be acknowledging what’s most important to the other person which can  help you make a clear plan together.
  2. Try to stay calm
    Feelings around money can be strong. It’s not unusual for people to argue about money. Recognise there might be a lot of intense feelings. Try and stay calm when you’re discussing money matters.
  3. Put the plan into action
    Reach a mutual agreement on what to do next. It will be easier to achieve and be less overwhelming with a step-by-step approach. Keep talking and put your plan into action together. It’s good to check in every so often and review it as you might want to change or revise it.

Prioritising those who need us most

As our telephone lines are incredibly busy at this time, and our call wait times are much longer than usual, we have made changes to prioritise those customers who:

  • are aged 70 or over
  • work for the NHS
  • have told us that they need some additional support.

So, if someone needs to speak with us about their money, they can call us on a dedicated number.

If you know one of these customers - please ask them to look out for any communication regarding this service. Or if you’re a nominated trusted person you can ask in branch for this dedicated phone number.

How to protect your wellbeing

Our charity partner, Mental Health UK, has developed some useful tips and ideas to help you look after your mental health in these challenging times, and some practical advice for anyone who would like to help in the local community.