Cifas enters collaborative partnership with the vulnerability registration service to protect vulnerable consumers

Cifas and The Vulnerability Registration Service (VRS) have entered into a collaborative agreement that will offer protection to vulnerable individuals through the VRS national vulnerability database later this year.

With effect from 1 August 2020, Cifas will no longer be providing the Protecting the Vulnerable scheme.

The Protecting the Vulnerable scheme is a shared register that is used by local authorities, solicitors and healthcare trusts. It includes the data of people who are subject to Court Order of Protection, meaning that lenders can deal with any application made in their name appropriately, and also helps to prevent fraud against that person’s identity.

Cifas is recommending that organisations currently using the service move over to the VRS, which helps vulnerable consumers in the UK protect themselves against further debt or financial stress.

Consumers can either place themselves on the VRS register, or third parties such as family members and organisations that manage Power of Attorney can register a vulnerable relative. This means that vulnerable consumers may avoid having to unnecessarily engage with organisations such as lenders and creditors, and also potentially protects them from identity fraud.

As the VRS register allows for a broad definition of vulnerability, Cifas believes that this will allow greater flexibility and opportunity to support a broader spectrum of vulnerable individuals.

Richard Freedman, Chief Operating Officer for Cifas, said: ‘Ensuring that those most at risk of fraud receive the protection they need is at the heart of our service, and Cifas currently protects thousands of vulnerable consumers through the victim of fraud markers held on our National Fraud Database.

‘The Vulnerability Registration Service is singularly focussed on supporting the vulnerability agenda in the UK. We are delighted to be working with them, and believe that this agreement will help to strengthen and enhance the protection offered to some of the most vulnerable consumers.’

Helen Lord, Director of the Vulnerability Registration Service, said: ‘We are very pleased to have been selected to take over the Cifas Protecting the Vulnerable scheme to ensure the ongoing protection of vulnerable consumers. The VRS will be able to work with Cifas to offer a wider range of protection services going forwards.’