And last but by no means least, it’s really important that both the directors and managers within a firm give careful consideration to exactly who needs training to help recognise and respond to vulnerable characteristics in customers. It shouldn’t just be advisers who receive this training but all frontline staff - essentially anyone who is customer-facing across the business. And, providing emotional support for these staff members is equally vital, as many advisers will already be aware of, having struggled themselves with the tragic consequences of the covid pandemic and the impacts on their clients’ health.
That’s quite enough to chew over for this month’s article but I have a strong feeling that the conversation around vulnerable customers is far from over, nor should it be. It’s a perfect example of the type of subject where the industry and advice community needs to keep talking to one another because the individual experiences of advisers, both the situations they’ve encountered with vulnerable customers and how they’ve responded, are something we can all keep learning from. And, crucially, sharing these experiences also helps create a support network for advisers as they tackle some of life’s most difficult challenges on behalf of their clients.
Keep an eye out for Mike’s article next month where he’ll share his views on the FCA’s business plan for 2021/22. And in case you missed it, you can also catch up on last month’s piece from Mike here looking at what the Investment Pathways rules mean for advisers.