With the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recent emphasis in its consultation paper on prioritising the needs of vulnerable customers, is the financial services profession equipped and ready to help these consumers manage their money?
The not-for-profit Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) professional body has developed an online e-learning course to ensure that every financial services professional, including its 44,000 global members, can deepen their understanding of the FCA requirements and the Financial Planning Standards Board guidance.
This e-learning assessment will help identify vulnerable customers and explain the necessary practices and guidance which are necessary for finance professionals to demonstrate their duty of care.
The module is recognised evidence of active learning and examines the way customer-facing staff, as well as those who are in regular contact with customers, identify and deal with vulnerable customers.
The new online unit consists of a 120-minute series of modules, followed by a 30 question multiple choice test with a 73% pass mark.
This course is available to both members and non-members. The cost is £60, with members entitled to a discounted rate of £50 for bookings made before the 30th November.
Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI, CISI CEO said: “The FCA undertook its Understanding UK Financial Lives survey in 2017 which indicated that 50% of UK adults display one or more characteristics that signal their potential vulnerability. In its latest consultation the FCA has broadened the categories which are sources of vulnerability and defined them as health, resilience, life events, and capability. Our new online course has been developed to support our profession and to help practitioners understand the entire range of social demographics which encompass this important vulnerable customer category, with challenges on how to assess and cope with the risks involved.”
The appropriate treatment of vulnerable customers is a key concern for regulators all over the world, in the financial services sector and beyond. Keeping these customers safe is both a regulatory requirement and a moral imperative, so firms must be proactive in identifying them and providing the best possible service.