On 8 March 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) released updated guidance on Treating Customers Fairly (TCF), with particular focus on Vulnerable Customers.
The guidance sets the standards to be adopted by FCA-regulated firms, ensuring that vulnerable customers experience consistently fair treatment and a user experience comparable with all other consumers.
In October 2020, a Financial Lives Coronavirus Panel Survey found that:
- more consumers found themselves in vulnerable circumstances due to the Coronavirus pandemic
- 53% of adults display a characteristic of vulnerability; an increase of 3 million people since the February 2020 survey of the same nature.
The FCA explicitly places an obligation on its regulated firms to ensure that supply chains do everything possible to assist them in meeting the expected standards.
As one for the largest providers of valuations and surveying services in the UK, we take customer care extremely seriously and have in place a Vulnerable Customers Policy to meet any specific need. Furthermore, e.surv is a member of the Equity Release Council and completes circa 60% of the equity release valuations in a rapidly growing market. This status places on us an obligation to understand and respond to the needs of older customers, finding solutions that simplify the valuation process and facilitate customer service excellence. and recommend enhancements to the existing e.surv VC framework to support the FCA obligations on regulated firms and their supply chains.
Surveyors really add value by being the “eyes and ears” when inspecting properties,
e.surv is acutely aware of the change to the FCA guidance in this area and already supports this approach to customer care. To date this year, we have referred 162 cases of vulnerability to mortgage and Equity Release lenders and social services, representing 7% of all financial crime and associated referrals.