Strategi Group recently released their white paper on vulnerable clients, they are now urging advisers to have processes in place to better accommodate vulnerable clients. It is especially important for advisers to update processes and procedures as a significant number of current clients could potentially become vulnerable clients as a result of COVID-19. Similarly, clients may have already become vulnerable clients.
“Strategi Group has urged financial advisers to ensure they have “adequate policies, processes and practices” in place to assist vulnerable clients, as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on financial health across the globe.”
Strategi highlighted the different factors that could hinder clients and have them fall in the vulnerability spectrum. Common hindrances faced by New Zealander include literacy difficulties and mental health disorders. With one in four New Zealand adult facing literacy difficulties and one in six New Zealanders living with common mental health disorders. In the current environment, existing money and job security concerns will be amplified. With unemployment rising, Strategi suggest advisers adopt a more holistic approach in all aspects of their business.
“In its recently released white-paper, Strategi explained that vulnerability has many faces - one in four New Zealand adults have literacy difficulties, while one in six are diagnosed with a common mental health disorder. In a 2018 report, it was revealed that 68% of people reported money worries while 47% were concerned around job security - figures which have likely risen significantly over the past months.
With unemployment set to rise and vulnerability likely to rise with it, Strategi says advisers need to take a “holistic approach” to delivering good results.
“Vulnerable clients need to be considered throughout the whole client journey, and in all interaction,” Strategi states. “This includes from how you design products, through to how advice is delivered.”
“One of the essential features of delivering good outcomes for vulnerable clients is ensuring staff are well trained to identify these clients in the first place,” the report continues.” Click here to read more
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