Consumer Duty regulations from the FCA require that financial services firms must ‘put consumers at the heart of their business’ and ‘focus on delivering good outcomes for customers’.
These regulations encompass managing vulnerable customers and require that firms both collect and collate supporting evidence.
Understanding and evidencing individual consumers’ characteristics, for both the resilient and the vulnerable – along with the potential for avoidable harm – is both an opportunity and a challenge.
The opportunity is seized, and the challenge met, with the MorganAsh Resilience System – MARS.
MARS helps those in the financial sector to assess, measure and manage consumer characteristics – including vulnerabilities – in an objective, fair and consistent way.
A secure, cloud-based system, MARS minimises the complexity of assessing consumers’ characteristics.
It’s easy to use – both for financial services organisations and for consumers.
Individuals are assessed holistically and in depth, covering their financial capability, health, wealth, lifestyle, support network and their capacity to engage with financial services products and firms.
At its heart is our objective, unique ‘Resilience Rating’. Like a credit score, it provides an understandable and consistent measure of consumer characteristics. It can be used across an organisation and between organisations – enabling users to understand and benchmark the extent and characteristics of consumers’ resilience, in granular detail.
Using anonymised resilience data, firms can access extensive reporting and management information. This can demonstrate customers’ characteristics – including any identified potential harms – evidence of how these were monitored, and detail the steps taken to reduce these harms.
Data can be entered directly by consumers or by financial advisers.
Where a consumer is known to be vulnerable, or if an independent assessment is required a team of specialist nurses can undertake a vulnerability assessment.
If a mental health issue is uncovered, the clinical team can also provide a mental capacity test.
MARS is integrated with the Vulnerability Registration Service – the only cross-industry register of vulnerable consumers.
MARS provides contextual recommendations for any next steps required for specific vulnerabilities. For example, if a person has a gambling addiction, MARS can flag that extra care should be taken when proposing high-risk investments.
Resilience data can be monitored over time, as characteristics change. The greater granularity of up-to-date customer characteristics data leads to a better understanding of customers’ needs and opens opportunities.
The Resilience Rating – like a credit score – can take data from multiple sources. MorganAsh works with other organisations to collate data which can indicate changes in consumer characteristics – such as employment, marital status and lifestyle – to provide ongoing monitoring.
MARS is flexible – and can be easily configured to each organisation’s requirements – and it integrates with other systems via a secure API.
MARS provides rich reporting, to enable firms to analyse and report on consumer characteristics and use protected characteristics for fair-value assessments, product design, defined-target and actual-target markets – and be able to communicate this between intermediaries, manufacturers, compliance functions, managers and boards.
It’s quick and easy to set up.
It’s flexible to configure.
It provides an easy-to-understand resilience rating – and mutual protection for consumers, intermediaries and manufacturers.
MARS. Measures resilience. Manages vulnerability.