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We are keen to support you with clients in vulnerable circumstances.

Updated: Apr 11

Regulatory Pressure on how to identify and work with Vulnerable clients.

In recent times how the legal profession takes instruction and looks after clients with vulnerabilities or those who might find themselves in vulnerable circumstances, is increasingly under the regulatory microscope.

The Legal Services Board, who as the oversight regulator provides a strong steer to the SRA, has reiterated in its 23/24 business plan that ‘Consumer Vulnerability is one of 3 core work streams. This follows on from their superb research into consumer vulnerability, undertaken in 2022 which was designed to explore:

  • What people are vulnerable to when they use legal services, and the barriers or unnecessary frictions they experience.

  • What good inclusive service looks like for people in vulnerable circumstances and the balance regulation strikers between safeguarding an enabling them to use legal services.

The SRA issued its own follow up guidance on taking instruction from vulnerable clients, or indeed third parties acting for them last July, but as with ‘ongoing competence’ the pressure from the LSB, will undoubtedly bring renewed focus in 2024 and beyond.

Earlier pressure from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce.

Our own regulator, the FCA, has also been taking how the financial planning community assists and supports clients in vulnerable circumstances extremely seriously, and for a longer period of time. As we have already highlighted to you via our ‘Safe pair of hands’ due diligence documents, we at Matrix Capital recognised how important this issue was at e very early stage and have made dealing with vulnerable clients a strength and a specialism. So much so that we are part of the passionate team who established the ‘Financial Vulnerability Taskforce’ , part of the Consumer Duty Alliance, to drive good understanding, behaviours and best practice in respect of consumer vulnerability. As such we were proud contributors to and adopters of, their respected best practice charter.

The Matrix Capital team are here to help.

Consequently, we feel we are in an excellent position to assist the solicitor firms we work with, in developing your own best practice, and firm wide processes for dealing with vulnerability. As we mentioned to you last year, we would be delighted to offer to support your team’s ongoing competency in this area, with well researched, highly relevant and practical CPD sessions. Indeed, we have a fabulous session already developed on consumer vulnerability, which was well received by a recent Solicitor’s for the Elderly meeting, along with insightful educational reading material.

We do hope this is of interest and would relish a discussion in the near future…

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