Bank is 30th to join rogue crackdown

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Havering Council’s banking protocol scheme has reeled in even more success by signing up its 30th member.

The scheme, that protects elderly and vulnerable people from rogue traders, was launched in 2011, and has seen its 30th bank, Santander in Collier Row, share the same vision of protecting customers.

Manager Kathy Archer said: “We have a lot of elderly and vulnerable people in the area so we joined the scheme so we could act as a second eye, or detective, to help prevent their money being stolen. If it was my grandparents I wouldn’t want them fleeced of their life savings that they’ve worked hard for.”

The scheme was created by Havering Council in a bid to prevent vulnerable people been taken to banks to withdraw money for bogus work. It’s the first multi-agency scheme of its kind, incorporating the Council, the police, local banks, Age Concern and the Havering Community and Police Consultative Group.

Between the establishments, bank workers are encouraged to make tactful enquires should they witness any suspicious activities. On the day staff were trained at Halifax in Romford, suspicious staff were able to call the police after a customer encouraged a woman to withdraw money from her account, just as the scheme had taught them.

Councillor Geoff Starns, cabinet member for community safety, added: “It’s great news that this worthwhile scheme has reached this milestone and I hope more banks continue to come forward to join and help us to drive con artists out of the Borough.”

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