How to build strong referral pathways
To build strong referral partnerships and increase survivor referral rates, we have outlined three key steps that financial institutions and survivor support organisations can take.
1. Nominate “Survivor Banking Champions”
Financial institutions can benefit if they identify and train specific members of staff to become “Survivor Banking Champions.” These staff can provide a personal point of contact for survivors and survivor support organisations.
Suggestions for a “Survivor Banking Champion” could include:
- Undertake trauma-informed training.
- Be a senior member of branch staff, to create a more successful and impactful survivor support programme.
- Have access to a dedicated survivor inclusion email address to ensure survivor support organisations and survivors can easily access support.
2. Partner with the FAST Survivor Inclusion Initiative
FAST provides template resources and referral processes to streamline and simplify survivor account opening for banks and survivor support organisations. This enables financial institutions to verify a survivor’s identity and satisfy traditional Know Your Customer (KYC) standards, helping to overcome the challenges faced by survivors who may have no official identity documents. They also provide training resources, basic financial literacy tools and periodic opportunities for peer learning.
3. Actively reach out to new referral partners
Another step is to actively seek new referral partners and signpost potential partners to the FAST Survivor Inclusion Initiative. This is especially important in the U.S., where there are a large number of small survivor support organisations that support smaller numbers of survivors. Without actively reaching out to partner with new survivor support organisations, banks may find that they do not receive enough referrals to create sustainable, long-term impact. This is also apparent in the U.K.
Onboarded survivor support organisations can provide the confidence that necessary due diligence has been conducted to overcome challenges regarding survivor identity documentation.
“We won’t accept any referrals outside of a programme that is part of FAST, only because we know that the due diligence has been done on the FAST side.”
US Financial Industry Employee, Participating in the FAST Survivor Inclusion Initiative
It is important to note that in the U.K., not all survivors will have been identified under the National Referral Mechanism and many will receive support outside the Modern Slavery Victim Care and Coordination Contract. Reviewing policies that may exclude survivors outside the National Referral Mechanism or who may not self-identify as a survivor may be necessary.