More than one in 10 veterans believes serving in the armed forces has harmed their chances of getting a mortgage or applying for credit, according to a new report.

A survey of ex-military personnel now in civilian employment shows that 11% think their background will affect their access to financial services and products.

Almost one in 10 (9%) said securing a mortgage was their biggest concern when leaving the forces.

Other worries for veterans include getting a job, settling back into civilian life, finding a place to live and supporting their family financially.

The study, by Barclays’ Armed Forces Transition Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) programme, showed that for some veterans, financial stress started while they were still serving.

That some former serving personnel are having difficulty accessing basic banking services is deeply concerning

Stuart Tootal, head of the Barclays AFTER programme
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Barclays CEO Ashok Vaswani

One in five (20%) had difficulties accessing banking and financial services while they were in the military and more than half (55%) worried about money during their time in the armed forces. 

Barclays found that financial advice was offered to 49% of the ex-servicemen and women it spoke to, but that only 28% took advantage of the information. 

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “Given the vital role of the armed forces in the service of our country, it should be an absolute priority for financial service providers to make sure military personnel are not penalised when applying for a mortgage or a bank account.”

Barclays has announced the launch of a dedicated online portal that will host all of its existing products and services that are relevant to the military community. 

The bank already offers money management sessions for serving personnel and bespoke armed forces lending policies that don’t disadvantage those posted abroad. 

It also allows servicemen or women who are required to be away from home to rent out their property without having to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.

Mr Vaswani said: “We want to make it much easier for serving and former military personnel to understand and access our services which is why we are launching a dedicated armed forces portal and committing to do more to better serve their needs.”

Stuart Tootal, head of the Barclays AFTER programme, said: “The findings that some former serving personnel are having difficulty accessing basic banking services because of a lack of understanding in the industry are deeply concerning. 

“Our dedicated portal will provide servicemen and women a single place to view products and services that will be of value to them, including our bespoke mortgage and lending solutions, helping to make banking easier for the wider armed forces and veterans community.”