How should advisors best support vulnerable clients?

Research conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has shown that 46% of adults in the UK – which adds up to over 24 million people – qualify as vulnerable. That could be because of financial, mental or physical issues and may be permanent or temporary, but it means it is likely that most advisors will have at least one client in that position.

So how can they best support such people?

Firstly, by understanding what it means. The FCA defines a vulnerable person as ‘susceptible to detriment’ due to any of the factors listed above. Of course, these sometimes bleed into each other, with financial problems leading to mental stress.

Once they are clear about what is meant by vulnerability in a client, the next stage for advisors should be to look into the support and education on the subject offered by lenders and other industry organisations. Any reputable advisor will have completed a full CeMAP training course, but helping vulnerable clients is as much about emotional intelligence.

Armed with the available education, a mortgage advisor will be more equipped to pick up on signs of vulnerability and provide targeted support. That could mean bringing family members on board or utilising soft skills when raising financial issues. For clients in particularly serious trouble, it could mean contacting debt management professionals on their behalf to get the process of stabilising their financial situation underway.

Any support offered by advisors must be based on a clear understanding of each client’s individual circumstances and tailored accordingly.


Mortgage Advisor

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