Why employee vulnerability breeds consumer vulnerability in the financial services sector

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    This guide:

    • Examines the relationship between employee knowledge, vulnerability, and culture.
    • Looks at how artificial intelligence can ensure that you are supporting your staff to adhere to policy, process, and governance.
    • Discusses how you can evidence progress of employee knowledge and enforce positive culture change in your firm.

    With the publishing of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) FG21/1 Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, the regulator has, once again, reiterated the need for action, change, and continual progress in driving improvements throughout all firms operating within the sector when dealing with vulnerable customers.

    The rhetoric of the guidance is clear and resounding; this is not a ‘one-off supervisory exercise’; firms should look to embed a culture of ongoing support and learning regarding how employees can better handle vulnerability; and they should be able to evidence and demonstrate how their actions and business models are helping to ensure the fair treatment of all customer, vulnerable or not.

    The primary message for firms to take from the guidance is plainly evident too: the practical implementation, adoption, and success of improving vulnerability handling must begin with a firms’ leadership approach to upskilling and supporting their own (potentially) very vulnerable workforce.