One in three older homeowners class themselves vulnerable

One in three (32%) people between the ages of 50 and 79 would consider themselves vulnerable, a new study from LiveMore has indicated.

The lender carried out a survey of 500 homeowners and found that almost half of those (47%) said this was because they have little or no savings.

Nearly two out of five people feel vulnerable due to poor health (37%) or because they feel burdened by bills and credit commitments (35%), while one in three (32%) people consider themselves vulnerable due to mental health issues.

Vulnerability is a key element of the Consumer Duty brought in this year by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The regulator defines a vulnerable customer as “someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to harm – particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.

Brokers are obliged to recognise signs of customer vulnerability so they can provide “good outcomes”, and to be aware that people’s circumstances might change in the future, especially as they age.

“Mortgage lenders and brokers can make a genuine difference to people’s lives, especially during this cost of living crisis,” said CEO and founder of LiveMore, Leon Diamond. “Awareness seems to be growing, but too many of our older generations are still unaware of the mortgage and financing options now available to them.

“The Consumer Duty requires those of us in the financial services sector to do better by our customers – and we welcome that. The cost of living crisis isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s more important than ever that homeowners are aware of their options and able to easily understand them.”

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