"The ability to recognise and engage with people exhibiting characteristics of vulnerability remains a core focus for advisers, paraplanners and other financial professionals"
The update will:
• Address the latest FCA thinking covering guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, and the economic and health impact caused by the pandemic;
• Provide practical approaches to help financial professionals give clients the best possible advice experience;
• Challenge preconceptions around vulnerability and encourage the idea that identifying client vulnerability is everyone’s responsibility; and
• Highlight how both individuals and firms can meet the requirements and responsibilities on them to embed an effective vulnerability policy.
Recent research from Just Group found that 69% over-45s said they had personally experienced situations which they acknowledged could cause financial vulnerability of whom 30% admitted their ability to absorb information and make decisions was negatively impacted due to those circumstances.
Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “The ability to recognise and engage with people exhibiting characteristics of vulnerability remains a core focus for advisers, paraplanners and other financial professionals, as well as the FCA. The continued evolution of our training reflects this progressive agenda and aims to support intermediaries in keeping up to date with the latest thinking and guidance in the area.
“Our own research reveals just how many people may experience life events or scenarios that may make them vulnerable, affecting their ability to absorb information and make decisions. The demand we have seen for our training module suggests that intermediaries are keen to help their clients and are well placed to identify and provide support to vulnerable customers, making sure they are not disadvantaged.”
Tish Hanifan, SOLLA’s founder and joint chair, commented: “Vulnerability remains a key priority for regulatory bodies in the financial services sector. We are delighted to have worked with Just Group to develop and update this training module to support intermediaries and help people access best-in-class advice, no matter their circumstances.
“We believe these latest updates will provide intermediaries with more precise guidance on their responsibilities to vulnerable clients, the latest FCA direction of travel and debunk some misconceptions.”