News and industry insights

Improving Outcomes for Vulnerable People When Consumer Duty comes into Play

By Estatesearch on July 27th, 2023

The FCA’s new Consumer Duty principle comes into force on 31 July 2023.  Protecting vulnerable customers will become even more important.

As a legal technology company for private client practitioners working on bereavement and loss of mental capacity cases and one of the founders of the Vulnerable Banking Group, Estatesearch is dedicated to supporting organisations in meeting this principle. Our technology and expertise enables firms to take a best practice approach, particularly for professionals that are representing those consumers who are considered to be vulnerable, helping to ensure they are treated fairly.

What’s the issue?

It is estimated that there is £200 billion in unclaimed assets in the UK.  Our award-winning Financial Profile Search gives executors, beneficiaries, deputies and attorneys peace of mind through comprehensive, efficient and demonstrable due diligence that mitigates risk and cost of missed assets or liabilities.  In the first three months of this year alone, we processed nearly 4000 Profile Searches, sending over 600,000 enquiries to institutions in the financial industry. A high percentage of these requests are on vulnerable cases.

How Estatesearch can help support Consumer Duty

We have now developed an automated tool that enables data held by financial institutions to be analysed quickly, to confirm if they hold financial accounts for deceased or vulnerable individuals, and to reply to personal representatives far more quickly than previously possible.  This development will support financial firms in complying with Consumer Duty and improve outcomes for vulnerable people. 

Our Profile service is essentially a search of the financial industry to better understand a data subject’s connection to one or more financial firms. Typically, one of our Premium Profile Searches will require notification of over 190 banks, building societies, share registrars, pension providers, investment providers, and insurers to help personal representatives locate live, online, lost, and dormant accounts.  However, currently, many financial institutions need to search multiple databases to respond to each request.  Even via email, requests can take around 14 days.

What does this mean for Financial Institutions?

Our new tool or Application Program Interface (API) removes the burden of data handling for financial institutions, allowing individual institutions to filter their own data automatically by relevance to the request and see very quickly where any further investigation is required.

We have already delivered the API to two major high street banks, allowing them to implement the automation tool into their own databases and cut weeks off the administration time of profile searching.

To find out more about how you can implement the Estatesearch API, contact Ollie Wright, Head of Financial Institutions Team on [email protected] or request a call back below.

Give us a call today, or send a message and we'll get back to you straight away.

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