Ensuring a culture of fairness, empathy and sensitivity prevails in the treatment of vulnerable clients
This week sees us complete detailed training from industry leading retirement experts ‘Just’ on recognising and managing the financial advice process for clients who are or may be vulnerable.
‘Just’ have been responsible for writing the “Good Practice Guide on Meeting the needs of vulnerable clients” for the Personal Finance Society (PFS) in 2017. We’re very pleased to benefit from the expertise of their Retirement and Later Life Specialist Billy Brown, who has expert knowledge in Vulnerability and Dementia and who has delivered our training.
What do we mean by a vulnerable client?
Many people have characteristics or circumstances which can impair their ability to engage with, or benefit from, different services. Whilst more obvious indicators of vulnerability, such as the growing impact of dementia in the UK, have focused attention in recent years on the ageing demographic, vulnerability can affect a wide range of people and age groups, as it is both fluid and dynamic in nature: either temporary, sporadic or permanent.
It is important that when seeking independent financial advice that whoever you choose understands vulnerability, can recognise it and can take the appropriate steps to protect that person.
Indeed, most of us (knowingly or otherwise) can become vulnerable, depending on our circumstances and situation at any given time, so it is important for us and our advisers to assume that we either have, or will have, vulnerable clients seeking or in need of financial advice.
Vulnerability can manifest itself in either physical or mental form (knowingly or otherwise) and is dynamic in nature (short lived, longer term, sometimes permanent, often fluctuating over time).
At TFA we adopt a robust approach ensuring that clients who are vulnerable are treated appropriately with the additional assistance that may be required in order to avoid detriment either financial or psychological which may arise during the lifecycle of the product or service they have with us. Our independent financial advisers are ideally placed to be able to assist in such circumstances.