Lenders continuing to chase vulnerable customers for missed payments

45% of vulnerable people have suffered further mental distress after being chased for missed payments, despite FCA focus on protecting vulnerable customers during the pandemic, according to research from the Vulnerability Registration Service.

Related topics:  Finance News
Rozi Jones
29th September 2021
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"If more isn’t done to identify the vulnerable, organisations will continue causing more harm to those who’ve already reached a limit on how much they can deal with."

The FCA’s guidance states that organisations must consider the needs of their vulnerable customers so that they can be treated fairly and not put at risk of further harm, particularly during the pandemic. The survey has revealed that the opposite has been the case, as 45% of vulnerable people surveyed agree they have suffered mental distress as a result of organisations chasing them for missed payments or debt.

The survey also revealed that in spite of their vulnerability, one in five (20%) have continued to receive calls, emails or visits chasing up payments or for debt collection, 14% had still managed to take out further debt and 10% had found themselves being evicted, subject to a repossession or put at risk of becoming homeless.

The VRS says the proposed increase to National Insurance, the ending of the furlough scheme, removal of the Universal Credit uplift and energy prices hikes, could see millions more pushed over the edge.

Helen Lord, CEO of the Vulnerability Registration Service, said: “If more isn’t done to identify the vulnerable, organisations will continue causing more harm to those who’ve already reached a limit on how much they can deal with. Organisations are aware of some vulnerable customers, but it is clear that far too many more are simply slipping through the net. Vulnerable people want these organisations to be more proactive in identifying them – 67% of Brits agree organisations should proactively carry out checks to identify the vulnerable. So, why aren’t they using the tools available to them to identify the vulnerable and put measures in place before further harm is caused?”

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