Human trafficking is a widespread and devastating crime, often leaving survivors unable to integrate into society once they have been identified, even with support provided by Governments and NGOs.
Survivors are often excluded from the financial system due to barriers that prevent them from opening a bank account. The inability to access financial services can have serious implications for their recovery, preventing them from fully integrating into society and potentially leaving them vulnerable to re-exploitation. HSBC recognised these issues and the barriers to banking which survivors often face, creating a Survivor Bank Account scheme to try to address this issue.
STOP THE TRAFFIK has consulted with HSBC, The Salvation Army, Hestia and Kalayaan , who all have experience in using the scheme. The briefing available for download below outlines the case for survivor bank accounts by assessing the barriers that survivors face within the financial system, as well as the problems with not having an account and the positive impact an account can have. The importance of branch staff training is emphasised, with operational insights outlined for consideration in design and delivery.
Based on this analysis, STOP THE TRAFFIK would encourage all retail banks to consider adopting similar survivor account schemes.
A huge thanks to HSBC, The Salvation Army, Hestia and Kalayaan for their invaluable insights which helped shape this report.