Vulnerable Customers

Supporting your clients in difficult times

We understand that everybody is likely to go through life changing events at some point in their lives. This could, potentially, make them a vulnerable customer and that’s why we’ll give you the support you need to help your clients through these difficult times. That way they’ll receive the right help to access our products and services.

What is a Vulnerable Customer?

In a recent FCA consultation report, a vulnerable customer is ‘someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care’.

How common is it for someone to be vulnerable?

Based on data from www.AgeUK.org.uk and the CMA study on consumer vulnerability, did you know:

  • 47% of people aged 75+ have limited longstanding physical or mental health conditions;
  • 25% of the population in England experience a mental health problem each year. And one in six experience a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) in any given week;
  • 22% of the UK population (around 14 million people) live in low income households (i.e. with income below 60% of the median income);
  • 22% of the UK population report having some form of disability;
  • 12 million people in the UK are aged 65 or over;
  • According to Macmillan, 2.5 million people are living with cancer in the UK.

How does this impact the customer?

For someone who is a ‘vulnerable customer’ it can be difficult for them to deal with their financial wellbeing; especially when it means dealing with service providers.

In a MMHPI survey 82% of of those questioned said they found the thought of switching and shopping around exhausting. And MMHPI data shows that 81% of people who are unwell find it difficult to sign up with an essential service provider or to open an account.

Other research found that people with mental health problems were likely to stay with their provider and not switch, shop around or negotiate. This group were often aware that they could be overpaying for services. But they didn't take action because they felt that it would be too overwhelming and difficult.

People suffering with stress, anxiety and depression need stability and routine to help maintain their mental wellbeing. They avoid the disruption that changing suppliers can bring. It can also affect their ability to manage their accounts if there are changes such as what these look like or how they operate. They may also struggle to deal with any problems in the service they receive.

What does this mean for you?

We don’t need to tell you that the expert advice you give and the products you source can ease the burden on your clients in difficult times. It can help forge stronger relationships and increase referrals.

How we can help you

As part our Growth Series we’ve produced a podcast where we discuss how you can support Vulnerable Customers.

Need more help?

If you want to find out more, speak to our Business Development Advisors on 0345 1200 866 (lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm).