Just and ILC-UK launch project to tackle later life vulnerability

Writes Hannah Godfrey

Just and ILC-UK have launched an initiative to develop solutions for tackling vulnerability in later life after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) called upon the industry to lead the way in delivering better products and services.

The project ‘Innovating for Ageing’ will seek to find and support the development of products and services that will address the challenges faced by ageing consumers at risk of vulnerability due to physical disability, serious illness, dementia or financial exclusion.

It plans to bring together specialists and promote better understanding of the issues faced by ageing, vulnerable individuals.

It also seeks to identify solutions to specific problems facing those people, organise events and awards, and report back on public policy implications.

FCA called for support

Previous research from the FCA suggested half of UK consumers – more than 25 million people – currently show “one or more characteristics of potential vulnerability”. The financial watchdog has argued the market “is not serving many consumers in vulnerable circumstances consistently or well” and that “customers in financial circumstances are being let down.”

In its recent Our Future Approach to Consumers document, it called on the financial services industry to better support vulnerable customers.

ILC-UK director David Sinclair said: “Our ageing society is a driver for increasing levels of vulnerability – more people with dementia, with sight and hearing loss, and multiple long-term health conditions, for example.

“This project aims to seek out technological and policy innovations and solutions, with an aim to removing barriers and ultimately rethinking the products and services that are available on the market.”

Just group communications director Stephen Lowe added: “The FCA is calling on industry to lead the way in delivering better products and services.

“This project will be a rallying point for those seeking to respond to the challenges set by the FCA and to address the issues vulnerable consumers face so that they are better treated and get better outcomes when interacting with the market.”