The cost of living crisis and the events that surround it has taken hold of everyday life and drained people physically, mentally and financially. Prices continue to rise, wages rarely match, and the strain on the lives of normal people is ever increasing.
Yet, financial services plays a vital role in ensuring individual clients not only endure, but strive through economic challenge. The FCA’s statement on vulnerable customers released last week highlights the need for financial advisers to support clients who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances.
The FCA’s statement suggests that whilst there are signs that firms are beginning to take action there is still a long way to go to support clients who have been challenged the greatest
Managing director of Morgan/Ash, Andrew Gething, supports this sentiment and suggests that a consistent approach in collating information is needed to truly offer the best support.
He said: “The findings of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) latest update show that many firms still have a long way to go in delivering fair treatment for vulnerable customers.
“The FCA says it will take action against firms that do not produce the right kind of management information about vulnerable customers and keep it under review. It puts the onus on senior leaders to take responsibility to understand the extent to which individual consumers may be vulnerable and ensure that they are treated fairly.
“Firms have been making subjective assessments of vulnerability, with no consistent way to capture the information. While this may solve the immediate issue for the consumer, the data captured is inconsistent and results in poor management information. Firms must have an objective and consistent method to assess and capture consumer characteristics so that this can be stored and communicated across the business. Without a more structured approach, firms will struggle to meet the FCA’s requirements on management information.
“The MorganAsh Resilient System (MARS) tool enables firms to assess consumer characteristics objectively, to keep that information under review and help ensure firms fulfil their regulatory requirements.”