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FLA launches guide to support vulnerable customers


The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) and the UK Cards Association have launched a guide to help finance providers support vulnerable customers throughout the credit application process.

Developed by the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) – in partnership with both associations – ‘Vulnerability: a guide for lending’ is based on the experiences of 1,666 staff across 18 finance providers.  

The aim of the guide is to support customers with mental capacity limitations, which may affect their decision-making abilities. 

A new protocol – BRUCE – has been designed to help staff look for clues in a customer’s behaviour or speech. 

This could indicate a problem with remembering, understanding, communicating or evaluating the credit options being discussed.

Stephen Sklaroff, director general of the FLA, said: “‘Vulnerability: a guide for lending’ offers the industry a comprehensive set of measures to support customers who are applying for credit – whether face to face, over the phone, through an intermediary or online.”

Graham Peacop, chief executive of the UK Cards Association, said: “Being in a vulnerable situation should not, in itself, be a barrier to accessing credit, but it is vital such customers receive additional support throughout the application process to ensure they can understand, remember and evaluate information about the product.” 

This guide is the second part of a research project led by Chris Fitch and Jamie Evans of the PRFC. 

The report is available to read on the FLA’s website.

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