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Financial abuse support

Financial abuse occurs when one person manipulates another to control their finances and property without their consent.

There are many types of financial abuse and it can happen to anyone, no matter how old, or how much money they have.

If you feel you're in a financially abusive situation, please do not hesitate to speak to any member of our staff.

How we can help you

There are many different ways we can help you to regain control of your banking. Of course this will depend on your personal circumstances as everyone’s situation will be different.

Our staff will also ensure that we respect your privacy and confidentiality. We know that telling us about your circumstances may be difficult, and our goal is to minimise you repeating your story.

We have a specialised team that can help you, or your authorised representative, to regain control of your finances and/or recognise additional support agencies who may offer further assistance, appropriate to your needs.

  • Complete our online Financial Abuse enquiry form , or 
  • Visit – any of our branches
  • Phone – 1300 023 583 between 8.30am and 5.00pm AEST/AEDT, Mon-Fri

If you or someone close to you is in immediate danger, dial 000.

Are you experiencing financial abuse?

Financial abuse can come in the form of Elder, Family/Domestic, Disability and/or Cultural abuse.


There are many forms of elder financial abuse, but there is a common thread. In general, it is an effort by unscrupulous person/s to extract money and resources through a variety of devious means from elderly persons.

  • Deceit
  • Forgery
  • Coercion through bullying and intimidation
  • Undue influence for personal gain
  • Misuse of a person's Power of Attorney or Administration instructions

In general, all involve improper use of an older person’s assets.


Financial abuse of a disabled person is any act involving the misuse of the person’s money or property. This is done without their full knowledge, consent or understanding.

This can be against an individual with a physical and/or mental disability. It deprives them of vital financial resources for their personal needs.


Family/Domestic financial abuse may occur when a person uses money as a means to gain power and control over their partner.

This type of abuse is when a person may be in an abusive relationship, where the other party:

  • Restricts access to bank accounts.
  • Takes control of all finances (e.g. being in charge of all household income and paying the other person an allowance).
  • Forces a person to sign documents or make false declarations.
  • Denies a person entitlement to joint property.

This is not an exhaustive list.

This type of financial abuse can be subtle where a person may gradually take control over finances. Family/Domestic financial abuse can also include violence and threatening behaviour.


People, where English is their second language, including First Nation's people, are at an increased risk of financial abuse.

Due to the difficulties in gaining information about banking services and products, they often trust others to help. This can be a trusted family member or friend, who may assist them in interpreting information.

This can result in the person being subjected to financial abuse without their full understanding of the circumstances.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the Bank focusing on financial abuse?

The Bank recognises that we all have a part to play in assisting vulnerable members of our community.

Please refer to the Australian Banking Association website which details how the ABA is working with a number of organisations to promote good practice and clear processes for banks, to better support customers who may be vulnerable to financial abuse.

What is financial abuse?

Financial abuse is when someone takes away your access to money. A person may manipulate your financial decisions or use your money without consent.

Once you know this, let our staff know, as there are ways to get help and regain your independence.

What can the Bank offer customers impacted by financial abuse?

Our staff have been trained to recognise and assist customers who may be experiencing financial abuse. 

This may include:

  • Arranging new accounts or other banking services.
  • Working with different areas of the Bank on a customers' behalf.
  • Identifying additional agencies and financial counsellors for further assistance.
  • Applying mechanisms to prevent further instances of financial abuse.

Are there some warning signs I should look out for?

Yes there are many. Here’s just a few:

  • Check your statements regularly and let us know if there are any transactions you don’t recognise.
  • Never sign documents you don’t understand, and seek independent and confidential legal or financial advice if you are unsure. 
  • Learn about security and fraud protection, including how to recognise scams.
  • Make sure you understand the access you are giving to a family member or friend by adding them as a signatory to your account.

Most importantly, if you suspect you are being financially abused, please let us know so we can help you.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Peoples of this nation and the Traditional Custodians of the land where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present as it is their knowledge and experience that holds the key to the success of future generations.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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