Nearly a third of older homeowners have felt vulnerable making a financial decision
Three-quarters (74%) of homeowners over 55 said they would be comfortable if their adviser offered them support because they thought they were vulnerable, according to more2life.
In fact, close to a third (30%) admitted they have felt vulnerable when making a financial decision.
However, the equity release lender found that almost a fifth (19%) of older homeowners said they do not need any help and 21% said they would only welcome this assistance if it did not slow down the application process.
Plus, over a quarter (27%) said they would question why their adviser thought they, or a family member, are vulnerable, while just under one in ten (8%) would be ‘upset’ at being regarded as vulnerable when they are not.
Eight out of 10 advisers believe there is a need for greater education and more resources to provide them with practical guidance on how to spot the signs and deal with vulnerable clients.
And three-quarters felt that there was more than the industry could do to make equity release literature clearer and easier to understand.
Dave Harris, CEO, more2life, said: “Vulnerability is a tricky topic for advisers and lenders as while we are committed to supporting people who need additional help, clients may very well not identify themselves as being vulnerable.
“So the challenge becomes helping them make the right financial choices for both the short and the long term while at the same time encouraging them to realise they may be vulnerable and that this is entirely okay.
“As a responsible lender, we are committed to making sure our customers are making the right decisions for the right reasons and supporting advisers in recognising vulnerability. It is for this reason that we strongly welcome the FCA’s guidance on vulnerability to ensure the best outcomes for customers in the equity release market.”