Lloyds Banking Group has introduced a dedicated phone line for customers over the age of 70 and NHS workers as it deals with a spike in calls from concerned customers.
"Colleagues are working hard to help customers and because our telephone lines are incredibly busy, we have introduced a new telephone service for those over 70. This is a dedicated phone number to help those who need our support the most."
The number is included in letters and emails sent to three million customers identified by the bank as vulnerable and those in need of extra support, such as NHS staff.
The measures apply to all brands under the Lloyds umbrella, including Halifax and Bank of Scotland.
Royal Bank of Scotland has also set up a special support line, open between 8am and 8pm, to help anyone over 70 access essential banking services and request a cash delivery. NHS staff can also ring an RBS hotline to ask about financial support..
Lloyds Banking Group is additionally lifting some restrictions on account access by third parties, specifically aimed at customers who do not have access to mobile and Internet banking.
The bank says customers who are unable to leave their home can nominate a trusted person to undertake transactions on their behalf. The branch will then phone the customer to make sure they know this person, Cash withdrawals over the counter will be capped at £100 as an additional safety measure.
Vim Maru, retail director Lloyds Banking Group, says: “Our colleagues are working tirelessly to support customers at this difficult time. The new measures we’ve announced will allow us to offer more practical support to our most vulnerable customers, ensuring we can prioritise their calls and give them access to their cash.”
Queues may appear longer at branches, she says, as the bank applies strict social distancing measures, including the taping of floor markers and installation of plastic shielding screens.