LSB has published a report on its standards development review on customers in vulnerable circumstances. It sought to identify key controls that firms have in place and set out examples of good practice observed in the firms reviewed. LBA’s key findings included:

  • there could be better strategy to ensure a fair and consistent approach to vulnerability, across firms, irrespective of distribution channel;
  • it would be helpful to consolidate guidance and drive consistencies in practice, for example by sharing information;
  • firms understand vulnerability can take a number of different forms and that the situation and impact may vary in degrees of permanence;
  • all firms had invested in front line training to identify customers who may require additional support;
  • firms should have mechanisms in place to support customers identified as vulnerable at the point of sale, but, as most sales are non-advised, there is a challenge in ensuring that the customer is given sufficient information to help make a balanced and informed decision, without this leading to implied advice;
  • the increase in wholly digital transactions generally sits at odds with most firms’ strategies for identifying and dealing with vulnerability; and
  • more could be done to show that fair treatment of customers in vulnerable circumstances is an active consideration at all stages of the customer journey and product lifecycle.

LSB developed a number of desired customer outcomes for this area, which will form part in a set of standards that are currently under development. (Source: LSB reviews treatment of vulnerable customers)