Vulnerable Customers Policy

We aim to treat our customers fairly and want you to be satisfied with the service we provide.

This document was last updated on 24/11/21.

1.    WHAT IS A VULNERABLE CUSTOMER

The FCA defines a vulnerable client as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care”. The FCA expects firms like Unizest to treat customers fairly when it is dealing with people in vulnerable circumstances.

The FCA has identified 4 key factors which may increase the risk of vulnerability. These are:

  • Health – health conditions or illnesses that affect the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks.
  • Life events – major life events such as bereavement, job loss or relationship breakdown.
  • Resilience – low ability to withstand financial or emotional shocks.
  • Capability – low understanding of English as a language knowledge of financial matters or low confidence in managing money (financial capability). Low capability in other relevant areas such as literacy, or digital skills.

Some groups are more likely to display characteristics of vulnerability than others, such as those over 75, the unemployed, those who rent and those with no formal qualifications. Customers will often display more than one characteristic of vulnerability.

2.    IDENTIFYING A VULNERABLE CUSTOMER

Unizest’s team are trained to identify vulnerable customers so that they can take extra steps to assist outside of its standard procedures to protect them. Therefore, if you feel that you believe you may fit the above criteria. please read this policy and immediately notify Unizest of your particular needs.

3.    VULNERABILITY GROUPS

Unizest recognises that certain groups of customers may be vulnerable. Whilst not all customers in these groups may be vulnerable, it will consider a customer’s individual circumstances where a potential vulnerability is identified. These groups include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Customers with communication difficulties (including learning difficulties and English not being their first language, dyslexia);
  • A customer with a reduction in physical or mental capacity;
  • Being young (associated with less experience);
  • Customer with health issues – illness, whether physical or mental illness, severe or long term;
  • A sudden diagnosis of serious illness to the customer or close family member;
  • Personal circumstances of the customer, factors such as financial difficulties, bereavement, caring responsibilities or redundancy;
  • Caring responsibilities for another (including operating a power of attorney);
  • The customers age particularly older and younger people. For example, a younger person may be considered inexperienced and the older person may be less technologically able.
  • Being ‘older old’ for example over 80, although this is not absolute (may be associated with Cognitive or dexterity impairment, sensory impairments such as hearing or sight, onset of Ill-health, not being comfortable with new technology)

4.    UNIZEST’S KEY PRINCIPLES WHEN ENGAGING A VULNERABLE CUSTOMER

As soon as Unizest thinks it may be engaging with a vulnerable customer, whether through its own identification or through you informing it, Unizest will:

  • Immediately make a record of this and ensure we adhere to this policy;
  • Provide additional opportunities for you to ask questions about the information we have provided;
  • Continuously seek confirmation that you have understood the information that has been provided;
  • Ask if there is anybody with you who can assist. If not, and we believe this will be beneficial, we will make arrangements to continue with the subject matter at another time;
  • Offer you the opportunity to complete the transaction after a period of further consideration.

Unizest will help a customer understand what alternative options are available to them.

If Unizest cannot help a customer, it will try to make sure that you understand what alternatives are available to you.

5.    REGISTERING AS A VULNERABLE CUSTOMER

You are able to register as a vulnerable customer via:

Email –             help@unizest.co.uk

Telephone –      +44 (0) 207 205 2500

In Writing –       Neofin Ventures Ltd T/A Unizest,

The Henley Business Centre,
Graffix House,
Newtown Road,
Henley-on-Thames,
RG9 1HG,
United Kingdom.