LifeSearch Vulnerable Customer Statement
(Last updated 14.11.2023)
LifeSearch understand that some people or groups are vulnerable. We strive to ensure those customers, and all customers, consistently experience good and fair treatment, service and outcomes. This statement outlines a little more on why and how we do that.
In 2021, The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) published guidance to help UK organisations better understand and serve the needs of vulnerable customers, who are defined as follows:
A vulnerable customer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.
Below is a list, with examples (but not limited to) of people and groups who may be vulnerable. However, we understand that vulnerability is or can be subjective and that every individual is unique. We know grouping people as such never tells the whole story.
- Life stage or age
- Financial difficulties / cost of living problems
- Mental health
- Language, dialogue and communication issues
- Levels of low or disposable income
- Alcohol, drug, gambling and other addictions
- Circumstantial life changing events
- Health and medical conditions
- Financial crime victims
- Physical abuse victims
LifeSearchers are trained to identify signs of vulnerability, which include (but aren’t limited to) difficulty understanding English language or dialogue, difficulty with numeracy, lack of understanding with specific terminology, any two-way communication issues, any unusual or erratic behaviour and any signs of emotion or distress.
To ensure our business learns and evolves, LifeSearchers receive ongoing training and support via an online platform, and all interactions are logged for review. We don’t stop trying to be better in how we identify, engage, serve and deliver for vulnerable customers.
If we believe a customer may be vulnerable then relevant questions are asked to better understand the individual’s circumstances and we adapt our approach accordingly. Should we recognise that a customer requires specialist help or advice we will refer them to an appropriate individual or external organisation.
If a customer has specific communication needs, we aim to engage an appropriate individual or organisation to help to mediate or interpret in-line with data protection / GDPR legislation.
If you or someone you represent believes they meet the criteria to be considered a vulnerable customer, please let us know by calling 0800 316 3166 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will make all necessary arrangements to help.
More information and guidelines can be found on the FCA website.