Consumer vulnerability is featured within the FCA’s current business plan and many
regulated organisations may have given consideration as to how best to implement a
programme that identifies vulnerable groups and mechanisms to deal with such situations.
But why create a model from scratch when the British Standards Institute (BSI) has
published BS 18477 – Inclusive Service Provision.
By using this framework and seeking registration from BSI a regulated business can
demonstrate to all stakeholders and interested parties that its arrangements are based
upon a best practice Standard.
BS18477 sets out a management standard to ensure that consumer vulnerability is put at
the centre of an organisation’s operating systems to detect early on signs of consumer
stress and potential vulnerability.
By adopting the best practice Standard a regulated business can be assured that all areas
from policy creation, to staff training, marketing, consumer contact, follow up and provision
of possible solutions – are designed to demonstrate that fair and balanced steps are taken
to help consumers in difficulty.
Many organisations sadly pay lip service to consumer vulnerability and produce esoteric
statements that do little to translate into meaningful action. Without a structured approach
being deployed an organisation is open to criticism or at worst censure of its arrangements.
Adopting BS18477 allows a business to implement the best practice Standard. This can be
integrated within other management systems and enables external recognition from BSI.
This helps set the organisation set itself apart from its competitors as a provider that truly
treats its customers fairly.
Marcus has twenty years’ experience in delivering Governance, Risk and Compliance
solutions to over two hundred organisations within the UK. Marcus holds the respected
Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association
and holds a master’s degree in Management Learning & Change from the University of