Just Group and the Society of Later Life Advisers have revised their free training module on consumer vulnerability to include the impact of coronavirus.
The module includes a new section on how coronavirus may affect clients, with more people expected to become vulnerable due to ill-health, bereavement or financial difficulties caused by the pandemic, according to Just Group.
The module was updated in light of draft guidance from the Financial Conduct Authority published in July on how firms can do more to protect vulnerable consumers.
It also now covers cognitive decline and how this interacts with characteristics of vulnerability.
Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just Group, said: “Vulnerability continues to be a major consideration for the financial planning industry with the FCA expected to issue finalised guidance in the first quarter of this year, and we’ve revised this module to help advisers be confident they are identifying and interacting with vulnerable clients sensitively and appropriately.
“The first edition of this module proved immensely popular with the adviser community and received great feedback, so we’d encourage all advisers to make use of this free training. The updates will make it pertinent to advisers who are new to the issue of vulnerability or those who have already completed the original module.”
Designed to help financial advisers identify and work with vulnerable clients and their families, those who complete the free online training module will qualify for 60 CPD minutes.
It aims to help advisers benchmark their understanding and knowledge of what constitutes vulnerability, how to identify when someone may be vulnerable, and how to change working practices to ensure firms deliver extra care and support for clients when required.
Over 24m people display at least one potential characteristic of vulnerability, according to the FCA, including physical and mental health issues, recent life events such as bereavement, capability and financial resilience.
Other initiatives on vulnerability have also recently launched in the industry. Financial hub Gretel, for example, launched a guide for advisers to help guide clients through the ongoing pandemic and beyond.
The Personal Finance Society has also created a ‘Financial Vulnerability Charter’ for advisers to adopt in order to express their commitment to vulnerable clients.
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