Helping Vulnerable Clients

Karen Hagan, Financial Adviser

As a Financial Adviser I am sometimes asked to help clients who are in the later stages of their lives.

Often such clients can be considered vulnerable.  This means I have a responsibility to ensure extra care and support is offered so that people are given the right advice in a way that they understand, trust and value.

Vulnerability can take a number of different forms and practically anyone at any time can be in need of this extra care and support. It is really not just about age, though that is of course a potential factor.

Some other examples of vulnerability indicators are:

            • serious health issues,
            • divorce,
            • redundancy,
            • retirement,
            • bereavement,
            • or simply a lack of financial experience.

Working in an empathetic and considerate way with clients is something that ALL financial advisers should practise – not just me!  But often older, potentially vulnerable women choose to work with a female financial adviser, so perhaps I have more experience than some advisers in helping people with areas of vulnerability.

This is why I am studying a course on Vulnerable Clients with the Chartered Insurance Institute. The course is really helping me further in understanding the needs of people in vulnerable circumstances, and my duties and responsibilities towards them when I am giving them advice.

One example of the extra care I take is to offer for my vulnerable clients to be accompanied at meetings. They may have a power of attorney or a trusted family member, whom I would always encourage to attend.

Sometimes clients prefer to have shorter meetings to ensure each stage of the advice process is understood.  On the other hand, it’s particularly important that I give my vulnerable clients plenty of time and space to ask as many questions as they need.

If this strikes a chord with you, and you feel that I can be of service to you or to other members of your family, please do get in touch and I will be happy to have an exploratory discussion to see how I can help.