Barclays has become the first high street bank in the UK to allow its customers to “switch off” payments to pubs, restaurants and gambling sites in an attempt to address consumer debt.
The new feature is available to all Barclays debit card customers, and will be rolled out to credit card holders in the near future.
The development follows pressure from charities and money experts such as Martin Lewis.
Lewis said: “Mental health and debt is a marriage made in hell. Many with mental health issues struggle to control their spending – whether through gambling, shopping or premium phone lines – and I commonly hear from people with thousands of pounds of debt as a result.
“This is one reason why I set up the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute charity – and its detailed research shows the power of giving people more options for control tools that can add friction to this type of spending.”