More than half (53%) of brokers said they could clearly explain the characteristics of vulnerability and identify vulnerable customers, according to research by TMA Club.
However, 41% said that while they could broadly identify the characteristics of vulnerability and identify vulnerable customers, they would like further guidance.
Lisa Martin, development director at TMA Club, said: “The past 20 months have undoubtably put financial strain on many, and we have seen a surge of borrowers finding themselves financially vulnerable.
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“While we’re pleased to see that half of brokers are confident understanding customer vulnerability, which is far wider than just financial situations, today’s results reveal that there is more work to be done from all stakeholders in the industry to ensure borrowers are supported.
“Brokers play an instrumental role in their clients’ lives, and it is their moral duty to ensure a full understanding of requirements.
“Through all times, but especially now, it is important that brokers show empathy when dealing with all customers, and remove any risk of ‘labelling’ customers, instead reacting to their individual needs and offering a tailored service to best address these.
“The withdrawal of government support schemes such as furlough, paired with potential interest rate rises and surging energy costs, will likely increase strain on many households over the coming winter months.
“Brokers need to stay in regular contact with their clients, to assess any change in situation and to ensure they are informed on, and have access to, the right products.
“We’ll be working closely with our brokers to provide them with the skills to ensure all customers achieve the best outcomes for their situation, consistently, by providing regular guidance and advice to our brokers through our 24-hour support desk and regular workshops targeted at tackling complex issues.”