Updated: May 22, 2021
The FCA has issued Finalised Guidance to assist firms in ensuring that vulnerable customers are treated fairly.
The FCA is looking to see the fair treatment of vulnerable customers embedded in the culture of the firm, driving both how products are developed and delivered, as well as ensuring the customer journey is relevant and adaptive to the types of vulnerable customers a firm expects to see.
The Guidance is designed to drive change within firms and help them understand how to achieve the goal of treating vulnerable customers in the right way. The FCA wants to ensure that managing this process is not a tick box exercise in compliance, but rather allowing firms to fully understand the needs of these customers and acting appropriately in response.
Nisha Arora, Director of Consumer & Retail Policy at the FCA, commented for the release:
'Protecting vulnerable consumers remains a key focus for us and given the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is more important than ever that firms get this right. The guidance being announced today will help ensure vulnerable consumers are treated fairly and achieve outcomes as good as other consumers.
'While some firms have made significant progress, we want to see all firms across sectors taking steps to understand and respond to the needs of their customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable to harm.
The Guidance embeds the concepts discussed in the Consultation Paper issued last July and gives further examples of good and bad practices for firms. The full document can be found here: https://www.fca.org.uk/publication/finalised-guidance/fg21-1.pdf