Supporting financial wellbeing is about raising awareness and communicating honestly

Brokers have a responsibility to protect their client’s mental health by having realistic conversations about money and affordability, according to a financial wellbeing expert.

Jason Butler, author and speaker was being interviewed for the latest Accord Growth Series podcast and gave his thoughts on the role advisers have in helping clients be more resilient against future financial shocks.

Developed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) after the financial crisis in 2008, the SMCR aims to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by making individuals more accountable for their conduct and competence.

Butler, who was a financial adviser for 25 years, explained his mission was to ‘help humans master money’ and get them talking about finances, which for many people causes pain, anxiety and is often overwhelming. He said: “Regardless of salary, money can often be the cause of mental health problems and part of a mortgage adviser’s job is to get people to buy the houses they can afford, not the ones they think they should have.”

In the recording, Butler refers to brokers as ‘financial priests’ and compares the review of bank statements to a religious ‘confession.’ Given the sharing of such intimate information, he highlights the duty advisers have to initiate those difficult conversations and be the voice of reason on a purchase which is rarely based purely on logic.

He added: “Mortgage advisers should try and see beyond just the transaction in front of them. The clients who stay within their limits will have budget for protection and are more likely to be a customer for their whole life cycle of events, rather than just a one-off house purchase.”

Jeremy Duncombe, Director of Intermediary Distribution at Accord Mortgages said: “Promoting financial wellbeing should be intrinsic to the whole advice process and in this podcast Jason gives a real insight into what it means and why it’s important.

“Given the sensitivity of the information shared, brokers often develop strong relationships with their clients and have a key role in ensuring they fully understand the commitment they are making and providing them with the protection they need against a financial shock like a loss of income or a prolonged period of illness. We appreciate the task at hand for brokers and hope this podcast encourages them to continue those important conversations to ensure clients are not putting themselves into financial difficulties.”

To hear the podcast in full, please visit: https://info.accordmortgages.com/growth-series-podcasts

Brokers can sign up to receive the Growth Series material for free at https://info.accordmortgages.com/growth-series