More2Life’s survey of 234 advisers operating in the later life space, half said they were having difficulties picking up on vulnerabilities because they were unable to meet with clients face-to-face.
A further 20 per cent said the health crisis had made the various types of vulnerability more complex, while 15 per cent said being unable to include family members in the advice process due to rules around household mixing had made it harder to see which clients had additional needs.
The survey also found that the industry had helped to address some concerns raised by advisers in More2Life’s 2020 survey.
In 2020, 81 per cent of later life advisers said there was a need for greater education and resources for advisers when it came to spotting and supporting vulnerable clients.
In the most recent survey, two-thirds of respondents said education and training had improved in the sector in the last 12 months. Some 22 per cent said the progress made was ‘significant’.
Stuart Wilson, corporate marketing director at More2Life, said: “While no one wants to be concerned that they are not providing the best possible service to their clients, the fact that there is almost unanimous agreement on the importance of being aware of and understanding vulnerability is good news.
“By acknowledging the added complexity of providing advice during a pandemic to a customer demographic which is more prone to vulnerability, advisers have taken the most important step to managing and mitigating the impact of this.”
“However, it remains clear that there is much to be done in this area – indeed, this job will never fully be ‘done’.
“We need to ensure that we do not take our foot off the accelerator and continue to drive forward positive change which helps advisers as they work to find the best options for their clients,” he added.