Comment: FCA’s new guidance on vulnerable customers

Following this morning’s guidance from the FCA to help firms do more to protect vulnerable consumers, Matthew Drage, Director of Consumer Finance at Huntswood, said: “This guidance couldn’t be better timed, given the fast-changing conditions that are exacerbating the financial challenges of consumers. This is clearly a high priority for the regulator.

“The difficulty with vulnerability is that it is a fluid concept, with a variety of causes that can change rapidly. These guidelines will provide some key insights into how firms should be adopting more proactive measures in their identification and fair treatment of those consumers experiencing vulnerability, some for the first time.

“The Financial Lives research provides a welcome reminder that call handlers require excellent communications skills to recognise the signs of vulnerability and to be sympathetic to customers’ needs. This is particularly important at times of crisis when call centres might be under pressure from high volumes of calls.

“Joining up data points across channels can provide firms with a more holistic view of each customer, allowing for improved identification of vulnerability and better outcomes for those experiencing it.”