December 7 2013 Latest news:
by Safira Ali, Senior reporter
Thursday, September 12, 2013
A banking scheme designed to protect elderly and vulnerable people reached a milestone last week.
Havering Council’s banking protocol scheme was launched in 2011 with the aim of working with local banks to prevent rogue traders targeting vulnerable people, often taking them to banks to withdraw money for bogus work.
And last week Santander, in Collier Row, was the 30th bank to join up to the protocol.
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 a customer keeps coming in to withdraw money, we ensure we ask the reasons to make sure they’re not being intimidated by rogue traders.
“If it was my grandparents, I wouldn’t want them fleeced of their life savings that they’ve worked hard for.”
Havering Council’s trading standards officers train bank staff in how to spot vulnerable people who could be a potential victim of a rogue trader.
Under the protocol, bank workers are encouraged to make tactful enquiries if they feel a withdrawal could by suspicious. They can then involve the police or council to delay or stop the withdrawal.
Cllr Geoff Starns, cabinet member for community safety, said: “It’s is 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.”
A 41-year-old man has been stabbed at an address in Harold Hill.