The FCA has set out new best practice guidance for firms to do more to protect vulnerable customers, and ensure they are receiving positive outcomes.
The first phase of the FCA consultation in July 2019 found that some firms did employ good practice and thought carefully about their customers and potential vulnerabilities. However, it also found cases where vulnerability was either not considered or positively exploited by firms.
This new guidance aims to provide a framework that allows firms to accurately assess whether they are treating vulnerable customers fairly, as well as ensuring a consistency in approach across the financial services sector.
Research published by the FCA highlighted four key themes for firms to keep in mind:
- Recognising vulnerability and understanding customers’ needs.
- The value of sympathy.
- The importance of empowered and knowledgeable staff.
- Meeting vulnerable customers’ communication needs.
The guidance is open for consultation until 30 September 2020.