High street bank set to pilot revolutionary problem gambling scheme with GamCare
British high-street bank NatWest is in the process of launching a 'ground-breaking' pilot scheme that will offer NatWest customers struggling with problem gambling counselling sessions inside their banks.
The innovative pilot scheme will be rolled out across 13 branches in London, the South East and the Midlands whilst it is assessed. Should it be a success NatWest plans on potentially rolling it out across its 700 UK branches, with the aim of becoming a first point of contact for treatment support.
How do you take advantage of this scheme?
If you do feel your gambling is becoming a problem all you need to do in order to make use of NatWest's consultations is head into one of the selected branches where you can directly book an appointment with a GamCare counsellor.
GamCare have listed 9 of the 13 branches in which this service is available: Lewisham, Ealing, Twickenham, Camden, Stratford, Wood Green and Ilford in London, Margate in Kent and Haywards Heath in West Sussex. The additional four branch locations are yet to be confirmed.
Natwest considered an accessible and neutral environment
Natwest's Head of Lending, Phil Sheehy spoke about the new scheme and why gamblers may choose to visit the GamCare counsellors at their local NatWest branch: “Some customers might be uncomfortable going to an addiction centre, this is an accessible and neutral environment.
“We want to look at what we can do to help people who may be struggling with a gambling addiction, which can have a significant effect financially.”
"Banks are in a phenomenal position to support people"
Mike Kenward, the Development Director of GamCare has also announced that the charity will also train NatWest staff to be able to help them support customers put an end to problem gambling, he said:
“The relationship between problem gambling and financial problems is well established, although not enough is known about it.
“Banks are in a phenomenal position to support people affected by problem gambling. What people need when they’re trying to make a big change in their life is the tools to help them when their motivation is at its lowest. It gives an additional layer of protection.”