27.7 million adults in the UK financially vulnerable after Covid-19 – FCA reports

From: RegTech Analyst

The UK’s top financial markets watchdog has found that 27.7 million people in the country have been left in a financially vulnerable state in the coronavirus aftermath.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Financial Lives survey has revealed that millions of adults in the UK suffer characteristics of vulnerability such as poor health, low financial resilience or recent negative life events.

The survey ran in October, revealing a 15% increase since an earlier poll from February 2020.

The regulator warned that these individuals are at a greater risk of harm.

“The Financial Lives survey is fundamental to the work we do as a regulator, enabling us to hear directly from consumers across the UK,” said Nisha Arora, director of consumer and retail policy at the FCA.

“While there are some positives in the data, many of the findings are worrying. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of people experiencing low financial resilience or negative life events has grown. The pain is not being shared equally with a higher than average proportion of younger and BAME adults becoming vulnerable since March. It is likely the picture will have got worse since we conducted the survey.

“Vulnerability remains a key focus for the FCA, and has been brought into sharp relief by the pandemic. We continue to work with the wider financial services sector, including businesses, regulators and government to support and protect consumers. We expect to finalise our guidance on how firms should treat vulnerable customers shortly.”

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