Majority of advisers stumped on vulnerable client management

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Aug 22, 2019

More education and practical guidance is needed when it comes to identifying and managing the needs of vulnerable clients, advisers say.

Research from More 2 Life shows 75 per cent of advisers feel they need further information on spotting and managing vulnerable clients’ needs.

Ahead of the FCA’s consultation on proposed guidance for firms and vulnerable customers, nine in ten say it is still difficult to spot a vulnerable client.

This is potentially due to vulnerability being a fluid state that may appear in different forms.

Eighty one per cent of adviser respondents estimate around a fifth of their clients could currently be classed as vulnerable.

More 2 Life chief executive Dave Harris says advisers cannot adequately serve these customers without being able to accurately identify this.

He says: “As an industry, we need to work together to give advisers the skills and confidence to recognise signs of vulnerability, and to communicate with clients and manage their requirements effectively.

“Its clear advisers need more support and education.”

The regulator published a series of recommendations for proposed new guidance on treating vulnerable customers fairly last month.

FCA strategy and competition director Christopher Woolard says the watchdog wants to see firms “explicitly embedding the fair treatment of vulnerable consumers into their culture.”

Firms will be able to provide feedback on how cost-effective it would be for them to implement the necessary tools to manage vulnerable clients, and whether these clients need better regulation in place for external support.

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