Charity calls for law change to force banks to help cancer sufferers

The banking sector must do more to help cancer sufferers, a leading charity has urged after it revealed a dramatic spike in the number of calls it is receiving from worried patients.

Macmillan Cancer Support said those seeking financial help almost doubled in 2016. More than a quarter of the people contacting the charity were doing so to ask money queries.

Nationwide and Lloyds Bank have partnerships with Macmillan, supporting customers living with cancer with initiatives such as capped bills and payment holidays.

Read more: European Commission launches probe over Aspen’s cancer drug price hikes

However, Macmillan chief executive Lynda Thomas said initiatives, such as credit card freezes and mortgage payment flexibility, should be rolled out more generally.

“We want a change in the law so banks are duty-bound to help financially vulnerable cancer patients,” she said.

Research by Macmillan indicated in the majority of cases (83 per cent) the average cancer costs were £570 per month.

Last week the UK’s financial regulator opened a consultation into whether cancer patients are getting enough support from the insurance sector. In particular it is examining the “challenges firms face in providing travel insurance for consumers who have, or have had, cancer, and the challenges for these consumers in accessing insurance”.

Read more: Watchdog reviews how travel insurers can give cancer patients a better deal

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