A HODGKIN’S lymphoma sufferer from Cradley Heath is backing Macmillan’s call for banks and building societies have a legal obligation to act in the best interests of their customers.

Macmillan Cancer Support is urging the Government to change the law so that financial service providers have a legal duty of care to their customers, particularly those who are vulnerable, such as cancer patients.

This could see banks having to provide specialised and tailored support, including flexibility around products such as mortgages, credit cards and loans, to help manage the financial impact of their diagnosis better.

Tim Wright was diagnosed with stage 4B Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2012 – initially being given just six months to live – and has had financial support from Macmillan three times since his diagnosis.

The 57-year-old said: “The financial impact of cancer can be horrendous. The worst thing that can happen to you is you lose your job, because you lose your income.

“I used to be a transport manager and was made medically redundant – but that money doesn’t last forever.

“As well as all the usual bills, a lot of people don’t realise: there’s the money on extra heating as the house has to stay warm all the time, the money for hospital car parking during treatment and for follow-up appointments, and the money on clothes – I’ve got a complete wardrobe which is four inches smaller than the size I currently wear because of all the weight changes on different treatments.

“I can just about afford to keep the car, but without it I wouldn’t be able to do my voluntary work or get out and about socially.

“I was initially given six months to live and on that basis the DWP awarded me the Personal Independence Payment, but when I was still here three years down the line, that support was taken away from me.

“But that doesn’t mean I’m better – I still can’t work because of the side-effects of my treatment. Even if I could, after four different chemotherapy regimes, two stem-cell transplants and the risk of my cancer coming back, who’d take me on?

“I’m actually lucky as I was able to move back with my parents and save money. You shouldn’t have to rely on them for help when you’re 57, but if I hadn’t got them I’d be destitute because of the cancer.

“When I’ve needed Macmillan welfare rights advisers, they’ve been there, so the fact that Macmillan has added extra funding to the service is good news for other people who are struggling financially because of cancer.”

Across the Midlands, Macmillan gave almost £2 million in grants last year to people with cancer, and invested a further £2m in new cancer benefits advice services on the region.

People with cancer who are worrying about money, or for more information on Macmillan grants and other support that’s available, call 0808 808 0000.