Not-for-profit initiative, the Vulnerability Registration Service, today announces a partnership with Synectics Solutions, one of the UK’s leading data management and software providers, with the aim of helping to protect vulnerable consumers from financial harm.
The issue of consumer vulnerability is one that is being treated with increasing prominence by the financial services sector, partly as a result of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) focus on the subject in recent years. There is recognition that there needs to be greater consistency across the sector in dealing with vulnerability, and the Synectics and VRS partnership will help to achieve this.
The VRS and Synectics share the view that all organisations have a social, moral and regulatory responsibility to identify vulnerable customers. Many businesses will have invested in systems which help them to deal with vulnerable consumers, but there has until now been no single point of reference to ensure all parties have the information they need without consumers repeating the same difficult conversations over and over again.
With this in mind, the VRS was set up to enable organisations to identify those registered on the VRS as vulnerable customers at the point of application or when deciding on customer engagement strategies. When organisations are aware of a vulnerable person’s circumstances, they are better able to treat them appropriately. The VRS provides businesses with the decision-agnostic platform they need to understand more about who they are dealing with at a given point in time, helping them to ensure that vulnerable consumers do not find themselves in financial hardship with which they may struggle to cope. The register is seeing increasing momentum across multiple sectors, such as consumer finance, energy, water, mobile phones, insurance services and local authorities.
James Brown, Finance Product Manager at Synectics said “Synectics looks forward to working closely with the VRS to support vulnerable consumers. Synectics is committed to protecting the best interests of this wide and diverse group, and the VRS will help to allow greater industry wide collaboration and agreement on various treatment strategies offered, which is key to achieving this.”
Helen Lord, Director of the VRS said “The partnership with Synectics is a very significant step in the progress of the VRS, and reflects the level of interest that we have seen in the register since its launch in September. We are delighted that Synectics has chosen to work with us and recognises the benefits that this initiative can bring to help businesses treat their customers fairly and compassionately. We urge other like-minded organisations to work with us to really help transform the quality of life and peace of mind of vulnerable customers.”