45% of vulnerable adults in the UK have experienced mental distress after being chased by organisations for missed payments or debt.
This is according to independent research carried out on behalf of the Vulnerability Registration Service (VRS), a not-for-profit company providing the UK’s first central vulnerability database.
The FCA’s guidance is that organisations must consider the needs of their vulnerable customers so that they can be treated fairly and not put at risk of further harm, particularly during the pandemic. However, the VRS survey revealed 45% of vulnerable people surveyed agree they have suffered mental distress as a result of organisations chasing them for missed payments or debt.
The survey also revealed that in spite of their vulnerability, one in five (20%) have continued to receive calls, 14% had still managed to take out further debt, and 10% had found themselves being evicted, subject to a repossession or put at risk of becoming homeless. It suggests that organisations, including banks/financial services, utilities, mobile phone providers, housing, and local government, are not doing enough to identify the vulnerable people that exist in their customer base.
It is particularly urgent that organisations act now as the number of people falling into vulnerable circumstances could increase dramatically over the coming months. With the survey highlighting that 17% of Brits have struggled with, or are struggling to cope with finances and managing money, the proposed increase to National Insurance, the ending of the furlough scheme, removal of the Universal Credit uplift, and energy prices hikes, could see millions more pushed over the edge.
IE Hub has partnered with VRS as we have aligned views and believe in making it easier for consumers to engage with creditors. By doing the I&E once, and ahead of a call with creditors, we can empower our customers to have better conversations which lead to better outcomes. Our customers have told us that IE Hub helped them manage their expenditure in their own homes, without stressful phone calls, at a pace more suitable for their needs. This mirrors the FCA's focus to deliver better outcomes in consumer credit.
Watch Sonia’s story here to see how IE Hub helped a vulnerable individual get back on her feet financially.
For more information on how IE Hub can support your customers, please contact email@example.com