More2life welcomes FCA’s latest vulnerability guidance

Jessica Nangle

February 23, 2021

erc guidance

More2life has welcomed the FCA’s final guidance on the treatment of vulnerable customers and has published findings highlighting adviser and consumer views on the issue. 

The FCA’s guidance explains that to achieve good outcomes for vulnerable customers, firms should understand the nature and scale of characteristics of vulnerability in their target market and customer base, whilst ensuring staff have the right skills and capability to recognise and respond to the needs of vulnerable customers.

Research from more2life found that more advisers are identifying vulnerabilities amongst their clients, with 39% saying they had seen an increase in the last twelve months.

Most advisers (81%) would like to see more education and resources to help them identify if clients are vulnerable and the vast majority (82%) think there is a need for family members to be involved in the equity release process according to the research.

Over three quarters of advisers (79%) agreed that when family members were, they were pleased that their parents were improving their lifestyles.

From a consumer perspective, almost a third (30%) of homeowners over-55 have felt vulnerable when making a financial decision and 40% of over-55s believe that as you get older you do become more vulnerable.

According to the research, 74% of over-55s would welcome additional support from advisers as part of the advice process.

Dave Harris, chief executive at more2life, said: “Working with older customers, equity release advisers are acutely aware of how important it is to provide the right support to vulnerable customers.

“We welcome today’s guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority as it further cements the need to ensure that advice is tailored, appropriate and designed to help vulnerable customers make the right choices for their individual circumstances.

“With this latest guidance, firms now have a clearer understanding of the FCA’s roadmap to achieving good outcomes for vulnerable customers. 

“While only a third of people admit to feeling vulnerable when making a financial decision, 74% would welcome additional support from their adviser if they felt that they may be potentially vulnerable.

“These conversations are not always easy but the FCA’s report highlights just how important it is to have them.

“With more advisers identifying vulnerabilities amongst their customer base, the vast majority are keen to understand more about how they can do this and are looking to lenders for support.

“We need to step up to the plate and provide them with the education, information and support that they need.”

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