Updated: October 2021
At Money and Me Solicitors we take our responsibility towards vulnerable consumers very seriously. This means we operate within legal guidelines that aim to protect vulnerable people and we follow best practice to ensure we deal with them in a fair, non-discriminatory, ethical way.
This policy outlines how we identify vulnerable people and the procedures we have put in place for dealing with them.
Identifying vulnerable people
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says that a person is unable to make a specific decision if they cannot understand information about the decision to be made; cannot retain that information in their mind; cannot use or weigh up that information as part of the decision-making process or cannot communicate their decision.
Money and Me Solicitors may consider a Potential Client or Client vulnerable if one or more of the personal situations or personal characteristics listed below are identified during an initial call or home visit:
|Physical and learning disabilities
|Mental health issues
|English as a second language
|Victim of crime or accident
|Loss of income
|Having recently left care
All members of staff at of Money and Me Solicitors receive training and updates on how to identify and deal sensitively with vulnerable people. Training is based on standards of best practice and how to apply them. This includes practical tips on how we talk with vulnerable people on the phone and face-to-face, how we check they have understood conversations and contractual terms; and what we do if they are confused or show distress.
The specific procedures we have in place for identifying and dealing with vulnerable people are regularly reviewed by senior management and include:
- Logging a Potential Client or Client as vulnerable on our CRM as soon as they are identified as vulnerable by a member of staff, with details of their vulnerability and how they wish to be contacted. If their communication needs are due to a medical disability, e.g. they prefer to be contacted by telephone only due to sight problems, we give them the opportunity to make a Personal Declaration about their capabilities and communication needs and record it in our CRM system, taking extra care to process the information as Special Category Personal Data in accordance with the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018
- Notifying a senior member of our Money and Me Senior Management who is experienced in dealing with vulnerable people and who will seek to establish if we can deal with the vulnerable Potential Client or Client directly or if we need to seek authority from a carer/trusted third party Trusted Person to deal with the case. MMS will always seek to make final decisions with the Vulnerable Person, with the help of the Trusted Person Form. The Financial Services Analyst and the Case Manager will also be made aware of any vulnerability
- Taking extra care to ensure that a vulnerable Potential Client fully understands the terms of our Contract to protect their financial interests. We also ensure that they understand what will happen and what to expect throughout the claims process
- Giving the vulnerable Potential Client or Client the opportunity to authorise a third party to deal with us on their behalf, and in such cases, carrying out extra security checks to verify the third party’s identity to identify any possibility of fraud and financial abuse
- Ensuring we feel comfortable proceeding with a vulnerable Potential Client or Client’s case, and making every effort to ensure we conduct business in a sympathetic, ethical and practical manner
For further information, please see:
- Equality Act 2010
- Mental Capacity Act 2005
- Distance Selling and E-Commerce Regulations (DSRs and ECRs)
- DMA White Paper 2015 – Guidelines for Call Centres dealing with Vulnerable Consumers Monitoring