Monzo CEO calls on government to make gambling blocks mandatory for banks

From: RegTech Analyst

Neobank Monzo’s CEO has called on the UK government to make gambling blocks mandatory for banks in a bid to limit the risks of gambling.

“For most people, gambling remains an enjoyable pastime or hobby but for others, it can escalate and develop into an addiction with major impacts on financial and mental health,” TS Anil wrote in an open letter published in City A.M..

“Yet what many do not appreciate is the role that banks can and should play in helping to protect vulnerable people and reduce gambling harm.”

With the UK’s Gambling Act being reviewed, the Monzo CEO urged the government to force banks to introduce gambling blocks.

“Gambling blocks are a completely voluntary tool designed so that customers who might be vulnerable or at risk of gambling harm can protect themselves,” Anil said.

“The block can be switched on by users so that card payments made to gambling operators are automatically declined.”

He explained that Monzo had introduced its own version of a gambling block in 2018 after “a handful of customers from our community” requested it, which he said many customers have been grateful for.

“In Monzo’s case it aids self-exclusion because to turn the block off, the customer has to go through a ‘cooling-off’ period of 48 hours and speak to a member of staff to confirm their decision,” he said. “This means they don’t act on impulse in moments when they are vulnerable. It’s a simple solution but one that we know works.”

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