Best CSR programme 2016 Article icon

Best The Co-operative Bank and Refuge: My money, my life
The Co-operative Bank
Agencies: markettiers, Lansons

Nearly one in five British adults (9.2 million people) have experienced financial abuse in an intimate relationship.

This startling fact was uncovered when The Co-operative Bank and Refuge, the domestic violence charity, conducted the UK’s largest ever study, involving 4,000 adults, to discover the extent of financial abuse in intimate relationships.

Almost one in ten victims had partners who had taken out debts in their name while eight per cent were not allowed to have their own savings. The report found that women were more likely to suffer from financial abuse, and that 82 per cent of victims also suffered from other forms of abuse. One in three tell no one.

The findings prompted the My Money, My Life campaign which was designed to highlight the issue, and offer potential solutions to the banking sector to identify and support victims. The December 2015 launch also marked the return of the Co-operative Bank to ethical campaigning.

An online video, hosted by presenter Lauren Laverne, a supporter of Refuge, featured a real-life victim of financial abuse, with the harder hitting elements of her case deliberately delivered as online text. The video, alongside some impactful infographics, were produced to drive awareness and also to reach potential victims.

markettiers worked closely with Refuge to identify potential case studies, and then to build the confidence of these victims to tell their stories. It also harnessed Refuge’s network of support organisations, such as Greater Manchester Police, Bravissimo and Mumsnet, to extend the potential audience for the campaign.

The launch of the campaign received 219 items of broadcast coverage, including BBC Breakfast, Sky News, Capital FM, Smooth Radio and BBC Scotland. It also generated online items on Mail Online, The Huffington Post, BBC News Online, This is Money and Metro, as well as print stories in The Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Independent.

It also generated 1,161 social media posts, of which 40 per cent took place on the launch day. The report and coverage put financial abuse at the top of the British news agenda for the very first time.

‘This campaign reasserted the Co-operative Bank’s position as a campaigning, ethical brand. It was creative and original,’ said the judges. ‘Bravo!’