Financial Abuse in a Banking Context: Why and How Financial Institutions Can Respond

Scott, A
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Journal Article
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a global social problem that includes using coercive control strategies, including financial abuse, to manage and entrap an intimate partner. Financial abuse restricts or removes another person’s access to financial resources and their participation in financial decisions, forcing their financial dependence, or alternatively exploits their money and economic resources for the abuser’s gain. Banks have some stake in the prevention of and response to IPV, given their unique role in household finances and growing recognition an equitable society is one inclusive of consumers with vulnerabilities. Institutional practices may unwittingly enable abusive partners’ financial control as seemingly benign regulatory policy and tools of household money management exacerbate unequal power dynamics. To date, business ethicists have tended to take a broader view of banker professional responsibility, especially post-Global Financial Crisis. Little scholarship examines if, when and how a bank should respond to societal issues, such as IPV, traditionally outside their ‘remit’ of banking services. I extend existing understandings of ‘systemic harm’ to conceptualise the bank’s role in addressing economic harm in the context of IPV, viewing IPV and financial abuse through a consumer vulnerability lens to translate theory into practice. Two in-depth stories of financial abuse further illustrate the active role banks can and should take in combating financial abuse.

50 Philosophy and Religious Studies , 5001 Applied Ethics , Behavioral and Social Science , Violence Research , Mental Health , Violence Against Women , 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , 1503 Business and Management , 1505 Marketing , 2201 Applied Ethics , Applied Ethics , 5001 Applied ethics
Journal of Business Ethics, ISSN: 0167-4544 (Print); 1573-0697 (Online), Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 1-16. doi: 10.1007/s10551-023-05460-7
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