A safe pair of hands when you need them most
At Lomond Wealth, we have always been looking out for any of our clients who could be in a vulnerable financial situation. However, it is with great pride that we are now officially signatories of the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce’s Charter.
Vulnerability is something that can affect us all; through unexpected events such as illness, loss of employment, divorce. Even seemingly positive financial events can leave us vulnerable. Such as the sudden acquisition of wealth through inheritance, or a lottery win!
While some issues, particularly health related, can lead to permanent vulnerability, fortunately it is often a temporary situation. But when it happens, you need to be assured that the finance professionals who support you fully understand the potential consequences and how best to provide the highest quality service for your changed circumstances.
By signing the Financial Vulnerability Charter, Lomond Wealth has officially pledged to abide at all times to these commitments. Think of them as our 9 promises to you – that have always been at the heart of how we work – now written down and signed.
THE FINANCIAL VULNERABILITY CHARTER – OUR 9 PROMISES TO YOU
- Making advice easier to understand
Recognising that many consumers will find it difficult to understand many of the technical and specialist concepts and terms used in financial planning, firms and advisers will go out of their way to explain things in an accessible way. They will only proceed once they are satisfied that their client fully understands the implications of the advice being given.
- Placing your interests above all else
As a client, at all times your needs will take priority over the financial interests of the firm or adviser and they will always use their best endeavours to provide an appropriate, personalised service for all their clients.
- Understanding how your circumstances might make you vulnerable
Firms and advisers will understand that vulnerability can be physical, mental, emotional or simply the result of a lack of understanding. Being dynamic in nature, it may be short-lived or longer term, sometimes permanent, transient, recurring or fluctuating over time and may be hidden. Firms and advisers committed to the Charter will act appropriately and with sensitivity in each case.
- Not making assumptions about you
All clients will be treated fairly, regardless of their identity, age, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief and they will guard against making assumptions about you.
- Not labelling you
Using appropriate language is important. For example, adopters of the Charter recognise that vulnerability relates to circumstances and not to a category of person and will not seek to label you as a vulnerable person but someone who is currently in vulnerable circumstances.
- Dealing with you sensitively
They will understand that people in vulnerable circumstances are often unaware of their vulnerability and, where they are aware, might not acknowledge it nor wish to be described as vulnerable. Firms and advisers will therefore acknowledge a heightened professional obligation towards those in vulnerable circumstances and the need for raised awareness, greater sensitivity, and additional technical competencies.
- Adapting processes and maintaining your confidentiality
If you are considered to be in vulnerable circumstances, you will be encouraged to recognise your vulnerability, safe in the knowledge that business processes and professional services will be adapted so that you do not suffer detriment at any point. You can also expect outcomes to be achieved that are at least as good as for those who are not in vulnerable circumstances. They will also maintain confidentiality and ensure behaviours are fully compliant with all relevant legislation.
- Ensuring staff are knowledgeable and appropriately trained
Firms and advisers who commit to the Charter will make sure all members of their organisations deal compassionately, empathetically and effectively with those in vulnerable circumstances by raising awareness of vulnerability and by providing appropriate training in supporting those in vulnerable circumstances.
- Taking appropriate action if you are in harm’s way
In those rare situations where it is recognised that a client in vulnerable circumstances may be in immediate danger of significant abuse or harm, or may need immediate support, action will be taken to mitigate the risks they face including contacting the appropriate authorities if necessary. Examples of abuse or harm include inappropriate pressure from a third party and scams.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE FINANCIAL VULNERABILITY TASKFORCE AND ITS CHARTER?
What is the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce?
The Financial Vulnerability Taskforce is a newly created independent and inclusive representative body covering the personal finance sector. Supported by the Personal Finance Society, its purpose is to:
- promote greater understanding of vulnerability
- encourage appropriate behaviours in the industry
- establish good practice among personal finance professionals regarding people in vulnerable circumstances.
What is the Financial Vulnerability Charter?
At the heart of this initiative is a charter which underpins the work of the Taskforce. This charter of 9 commitments sets out how professionals are expected to work with customers in vulnerable circumstances.
This means you can be confident that a financial planning firm or adviser who has signed the charter, has made these 9 commitments. And that they will use their best endeavours to provide you with a service that recognises your unique circumstances, and deliver the same outcomes that you would expect if you were not in vulnerable circumstances.
What is the Personal Finance Society?
The Personal Finance Society is the professional body for the financial advisory profession in the UK. It promotes ethical behaviour, high standards of professionalism, technical knowledge and client service for the ultimate benefit of the profession and the customer alike.
It is part of the Chartered Insurance Institute, the world’s largest professional body dedicated to insurance and personal finance, which seeks to secure and justify the confidence of the public through its Royal Charter.
You can learn more about the Personal Finance Society and what they do to protect you on the PFS Website.
Or get in touch with us to talk about how we can help you through a financially vulnerable situation.