The Financial Services Vulnerability Taskforce has published a report outlining best practice recommendations for the industry when dealing with vulnerable customers.
The report details nine principles and recommendations that aim to improve outcomes for customers in vulnerable circumstances:
- Sensitive, flexible response – when customers seek help and support, firms should treat them sensitively, flexibly and be responsive to their needs.
- Effective access to support – customers should be able to access practical, jargon-free information and help through the range of communication channels that each firm provides. They should also be informed about other, external sources of help relevant to their situation.
- One-stop notice – customers should not need to tell firms about their particular circumstances or characteristics more than once.
- Specialist help available – customers should have access to specialist support to help make informed choices in light of their individual situation. Where customers require regular or on-going assistance in such circumstances, firms should consider opportunities to provide dedicated points of contact to support them.
- Easy for family and friends to support – at their customers’ request, firms should make it easy for a friend or family member to help manage their money.
- Scam protection – customers particularly at risk of being scammed or financially abused need to be (and feel) protected by their financial service provider.
- Customer focused reviews – evaluation and monitoring procedures should centre on obtaining a positive outcome for the customer.
- Industry alignment – the industry should, via the financial services trade associations and other bodies, identify opportunities to collaborate on areas where there is a common agenda and an opportunity to improve the outcome for customers in vulnerable situations.
- Inclusive regulation – regulators should help financial services firms and the industry achieve better customer outcomes.