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What is a vulnerable customer

A vulnerable customer is someone susceptible to harm due to their personal circumstances, especially if a financial services firm is not acting with appropriate care. All customers are at risk of becoming vulnerable, but the risk is increased by particular characteristics, which could include poor health, certain life events, low resilience to cope with financial or emotional shocks, or low literacy or numerical capability. 

The 2021 FCA guidance, Guidance for firms on the fair treatment of Vulnerable Customers, sets out expectations for firms, and the Consumer Duty has further emphasised the importance of vulnerability and has created further guidance and opportunities for firms to support customers.

The PIMFA Vulnerable Customers Working Group assists members in identifying, supporting and achieving good outcomes for Vulnerable Customers. Please contact Alexandra Roberts if you would like to find out more.

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This guide provides support for firms to identify, support and achieve good outcomes for vulnerable customers.

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