MorganAsh, a leading provider of support services to the financial industry, has launched a revolutionary consumer vulnerability assessment tool. By providing an objective “resilience score” similar to a credit score, the new tool greatly facilitates the assessment of consumer vulnerability.
Called The MorganAsh Resilience System (MARS), the new tool is designed to help mortgage advisers and businesses meet Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requirements for understanding and managing consumer vulnerability. The FCA’s ‘Guidance for businesses on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers’ came into force in February 2021 and will be reinforced by the document ‘A new Consumer Duty’, currently in consultation.
MARS is the very first system providing this type of easy to understand notation. Although the scoring system is simple, it is based on very sophisticated data. As a result, he was adopted immediately by St James’ Place (SJP). SJP also provides partners with access to MARS to help them identify and better support customer financial vulnerability.
The MorganAsh Resilience System provides an objective measurement rating like the familiar credit score used by lenders across the UK. MARS gathers information from consumers and their advisors, to calculate a comprehensive “resilience score”. This provides a simple, objective, and consistent way to manage consumer vulnerability.
Focused on resilience
Aware of the potential stigma of an individual if they are labeled as vulnerable, MARS instead focuses on strengths – a person’s resilience. The highly secure system provides simple assessments that reflect every aspect of a person’s vulnerability or resilience, including health, wealth, and life events.
The level of detail collected is tailored to both the stage of engagement and the potential for consumer harm. For example, when a customer inquires about a “low risk” product, such as life insurance, the level of detail required by MARS is minimal and can be provided by the consumer or his advisor. But for a high-risk or high-value product, like end-of-life mortgages and loans, a more diligent set of information would be used – with independent verification of this information.
Mortgage and financial advisors can enter a client’s vulnerability information themselves. Alternatively, they can ask their customer to complete an online questionnaire or, if the consumer is suspected of being vulnerable, can book an assessment of their customer to be carried out by a MorganAsh nurse.
Fintech guided by FCA requirements
The FCA is keen for companies to use processes to support vulnerable consumers and enable them to disclose their needs. MARS therefore provides a solid and rigorous framework for advisors to achieve this.
The system can be used as a standalone tool or integrated with a company’s CRM via secure API links. MARS is already integrated with Intelliflo and Iress systems, and further integrations are planned.
MARS is vendor and product independent and can be used by anyone in financial services, for any product or service. It is an objective measure that provides consistent and essential evidence of regulatory stringency to compliance teams and the FCA.