Leading UK protection and health insurer, The Exeter, has become the first insurer to sign up to the Vulnerable Customer Charter, developed by the UK Financial Vulnerability Taskforce (FVT) to promote greater understanding and establish best practices in respect of consumer vulnerability.
The Exeter has worked closely with the FVT to adopt the 2021 Charter to benefit its customers. Development of the Charter was undertaken with support from the Personal Finance Society (PFS) and lays out nine statements that underpin the work of the FVT. Through creating a version specific to The Exeter and adopting these statements across the business, The Exeter has committed to going even further to identify, manage and protect customers in vulnerable positions.
The statements in the Charter include recognition of the moral duty for specialist financial services providers to act in customers’ best interests as a result of their in-depth technical knowledge; acknowledgement that vulnerability can manifest in many forms and may be hidden; and a commitment to a heightened professional obligation toward customers in vulnerable positions.
Alongside the Charter, The Exeter is also offering training for staff to raise awareness of vulnerability and provide the skills required for all team members to continue to deal compassionately, empathetically and effectively with those in vulnerable positions.
Keith Richards, founding Chair of FVT comments:
"We are delighted to work in collaboration with The Exeter to raise awareness of the vulnerable circumstances in life we all face at different life stages, either permanent or temporary, visible or non-visible. Adoption of the Charter allows both firms and individuals to demonstrate their commitment to an independent standard and highlight or discuss the processes they use with customers. The Exeter’s commitment towards the further upskilling of their workforce will ensure that spotting and dealing with vulnerability will become common practice and help to protect the best interests of all customers.”
Isobel Langton, CEO at The Exeter comments:
“Awareness from the Financial Conduct Authority and financial services providers of the need to understand and deal effectively with customers in vulnerable circumstances has been of increasing importance in recent years. The formation of the FVT and its Charter means organisations have a simple, effective way to establish and embed best practices into their business, and we are proud to be the first in the insurance sector to make this commitment.
“The sector has taken huge strides to better address vulnerability, but there is still more that can be done. By adopting this Charter and providing internal training to our workforce, we’re committed to protecting the best interests of customers in vulnerable positions and further raising awareness of this important issue.”
Notes to Editors
Taneesha Pawar, Rostrum
D: +44 (0) 203 404 7733
About The Exeter
The Exeter is a leading protection and healthcare insurer who have been supporting UK families in the event of ill health or injury since 1888.
Formerly known as the Exeter Friendly Society and Pioneer Friendly Society, The Exeter is a mutual friendly society. This means it is owned by members and run for their benefit, rather than shareholders.
The Exeter is a trading name of Exeter Friendly Society Limited, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Register number 205309) and is incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act 1992 Register No. 91F with its registered office at Lakeside House, Emperor Way, Exeter, England EX1 3FD.