The Right Mortgage and Protection Network has launched a vulnerability hub, aimed at boosting adviser awareness around working with vulnerable clients.
The network, which works with more than 500 mortgage and protection brokers across the UK, said vulnerability was not a simple ‘one size fits all’ term in the financial advice space.
Its new hub will therefore address the term's myriad of definitions and include a variety of educational content and resources for member firms.
This includes access to a checklist which will allow advisers to complete a full assessment of individual customers, as well as a dedicated safe place, which will allow advisers to seek more personal support.
Martin Wilson, CEO of the Right Mortgage Network, said: “Vulnerability is often attributed to older clients or those with varying degrees of capacity.
"This project, however, aims to highlight the different types of clients who could be classed as vulnerable and draws an important focus for advisers in how they identify these clients and adjust their processes and behaviours accordingly.”
The network has also developed a vulnerability champions taskforce which will assist advisers and their vulnerable clients.
Victoria Wilson, equity release manager and head of vulnerability champions at the Right Mortgage Network, said: “The team of vulnerability champions have worked very hard to get as much resource together as possible.
"We wish to continue to work and assist our advisers in this area; not only to help their customers but to also create a supportive place for them as well, if they need it.
“We hope that this development will help shape how advisers think about the importance of vulnerability across all customers."
Back in 2019, the Financial Conduct Authority vowed to take action against firms which do not treat vulnerable customers fairly.
And in July last year, the FCA warned some vulnerable customers were being "exploited for gain" despite its warnings a year earlier.
The regulator published draft guidance for firms at the time as part of its ongoing consultation on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, after the work was initially delayed earlier in the year in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nafeesa Zaman is a freelance reporter for FTAdviser