Four tips for advising vulnerable customers

The FCA has launched a review of the way that advisory firms throughout the country deal with vulnerable clients. It wants to be sure that they are getting the guidance and support they need and all advisors will want that too. Here are some tips to help you achieve it.

Assess all clients

To be able to determine whether a client is vulnerable or not, you must have a consistent assessment process. Therefore, all of your clients should be assessed in exactly the same fashion, without preconceptions regarding wealth, age or anything else.

Know the triggers

Four things have been noted by the FCA as triggers for vulnerability – resilience, capability, life circumstances and health circumstances. It is these that should form the basis for your assessment of each client.

Consider the causative nexus

What is meant by the causative nexus is how an individual responds to any of the triggers. It is their response to one of those events that can tip them over into vulnerability or not. If you know how the client has been affected by the trigger circumstance, you will have a better idea how to help them.

Customise your approach

When advisors study for their CeMAP qualification, some excel at one area of the course and others at a separate part. That is because people are all different, so you cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach to helping vulnerable clients. Someone affected by bereavement will need different support to an elderly client who has dementia, to provide just a single example of this.


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