A third of employees identify as vulnerable

A survey by the Chartered Body Alliance has found that 33% of the 1,637 respondents working in financial services considered themselves to be vulnerable in the past 12 months. It also highlighted that although 80% of organisations had policies around treating customers in vulnerable circumstances, only 42% had received structured training on this topic in the past six months.

The survey received detailed examples from 356 respondents of where they had seen vulnerable customers receiving inappropriate treatment. These included elderly customers being directed to online complaint forms, a lack of empathy for bereaved customers, and poor response to instances of scamming and fraud.

Sian Fisher, CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “If we think we are going to go through our whole lives avoiding a time when we fit the definition of ‘vulnerable’, we are kidding ourselves.

“Financial circumstances, ill health, disability and life events all mean that we are almost certain to go through a period in our lives when we are vulnerable. This research underlines how important it is for us all to have an inclusive approach to all customers, and not treat vulnerability as an ‘add on’ that only applies to a minority.”

The Chartered Body Alliance comprises the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, and the Chartered Banker Institute.

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