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Vulnerable Customers

We're right here, helping you make sure your clients get the support they need - whatever their circumstances.

Vulnerable Customer

What is a vulnerable customer?

A vulnerable customer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.

There are four drivers of vulnerability, although not everyone in these circumstances will necessarily be vulnerable.

Vulnerability Driver(s):

A table showing different vulnerability drivers

If you're unable to view this image, please click here.

Identifying vulnerability

Some vulnerabilities are easier to identify than others. Some clients will tell you about their situation whereas others may not even consider themselves vulnerable. As part of their guidance, the FCA suggests looking out for the following:

Changes in payment behaviour such as:
  • Payments stopping suddenly
  • Late or missed payments
  • Regular unarranged overdrafts and charges
  • Unusual activity on an account.
Phrases such as:
  • "I can’t pay"
  • "I’m having trouble paying"
  • "I can’t read my bill"
  • "I can’t understand the letter you sent me"
  • "I can’t hold on all day"
  • "I hate these press buttons"
  • As well as mention of breathing space/debt moratorium or contacting a debt advisor.
Staff could also be on the lookout for:
  • Shortness of breath or signs of agitation
  • Asking for repetition (a sign that the client is not retaining information)
  • Signs that the client has not understood, or signs of confusion
  • Mention of medication.

Letting us know

Do you have a client experiencing vulnerability who needs more support when managing their mortgage or communicating with us? Simply get in touch to let us know. We have solutions we can put in place to help, for example providing documents in large print, braille, on coloured paper or audio. We’ll make a note on our systems and contact you to let you know how we can help. Sometimes, we may need to contact your client for further information around the support they need. We’re right here for you and your clients.

Further support

Our existing customer website has a help and support section for life events and you can also find a list of organisations that provide help for you and your clients.

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