A survey of almost 250 Financial Planners and brokers by equity release referral service Key Partnerships found that while 29% were confident that their vulnerability policies were robust, some had decided to step them up in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The research found that 22% of Financial Planners were treating all customers as potentially vulnerable during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The FCA defines a vulnerable customer as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.”
Jason Ruse, business development director at Key Partnerships, said: “Advisers have proved to be resilient and adaptable throughout the crisis despite the challenges of changing working practices and the financial impact on businesses. Vulnerability was a hot topic before the crisis hit and it is good to see that this remains at the forefront of people’s minds and we reviewed our vulnerability policy for added due diligence in the current times.”
“While not all older customers are vulnerable, they are an age group which is more likely to be vulnerable and self-isolation as well as the impact of the coronavirus on pensions and savings is likely to have seen more people considering their options.
"The focus on ensuring vulnerability is addressed is particularly important and the numbers of firms which have taken action or reviewed practices to ensure they are supporting clients underlines how important the issue is.”
The Key Partnerships research among 242 Financial Planners nationwide included 180 mortgage intermediaries. The survey was conducted using an online methodology during May.