Cost of living: Lloyds Bank introduces gambling limits for customers

General view of signage at a branch of Lloyds bank
Customers at Lloyds have already been able to freeze gambling spending completely since 2019, while other banks also offer the ability to use gambling blockers. Photo: Tom Nicholson/Reuters

Customers at Lloyds Bank (LLOY.L) will be able to set personalised limits on how much they spend each month on gambling, as the cost of living crisis continues to eat into pockets.

In a new trial, the feature will allow those using the mobile app to set a monthly limit of any amount to the nearest pound on their debit card.

This includes spending online, in person, or over the phone.

Lloyds said the feature is being launched to understand how helpful customers find the ability to set a monthly limit, alongside the existing ability to freeze gambling transactions completely.

Customers at the lender have already been able to freeze gambling spending completely since 2019, while other banks also offer the ability to use gambling blockers.

Lloyds added that setting monthly limits will give customers more budgeting control on how much they are spending on gambling. It can be adjusted or removed at any time and will automatically roll on each month, until the limit is removed.

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“For several years, we’ve helped our customers turn off gambling spend,” Philip Robinson, director, personal current accounts at Lloyds Bank, said.

“Our newest feature lets customers set a personalised gambling spend limit, helping them better manage their money and establish boundaries around certain spending behaviour.”

Meanwhile, Anna Hemmings, GamCare chief executive officer, said: “As many households are having to think more carefully about their budgets, the launch by Lloyds Bank of its new in-app gambling spend limit feature will give those most vulnerable to gambling harms an important means of controlling their gambling — and preventing harms from escalating.”

It comes as UK retail sales rebounded in October but still remain 0.6% below their pre-pandemic levels amid the sharpest cost of living crisis in a century.

But compared to October 2021, consumers bought 6.1% less and had to spend 4.8% more due to soaring inflation. Inflation hit 11.1% in the year to October, the highest for 41 years.

Watch: How does inflation affect interest rates?