You are here: Home - News -

Brokers must be flexible to help disabled clients ‒ analysis

  • 09/12/2022
  • 0
Brokers must be flexible to help disabled clients ‒ analysis
Intermediaries need to be adaptable in the way that they work in order to meet the needs of disabled clients, brokers have argued.

A study this week from Skipton Building Society found that significant numbers of disabled people feel embarassed about asking questions during the homebuying process, stating that they fear being viewed as stupid or ignorant.

Brokers told Mortgage Solutions that it’s important for advisers to recognise how the needs of disabled clients may vary, and adapt the way they work accordingly.

Delivering for clients with hearing difficulties

Greenacre Financial Services is a broker which has highlighted its ability to work with hearing impaired clients, as one of the team speaks sign language.

Greg Stanworth, managing director of the firm, said that it was important for him that the business was as inclusive and accessible as possible.

He continued: “For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, the financial world could be a daunting place because they don’t have somebody that they can have a conversation with.

“We’re open 24/7, but we realised we weren’t open to everybody out there 24/7. Having a broker on board able to communicate in British Sign Language means we can be open to even more people.”


Should I ask?

Martin Stewart, director of London Money, said that with many brokers not seeing clients face-to-face as frequently as was once the case, it is possible that brokers will not be aware of any disabilities unless the client reveals it.

He said: “This then opens up the can of worms. Do you ask questions because there might be a disability when statistically there is a very small chance a client has one? Furthermore, what is classed as a disability? Some people refuse to acknowledge that they have one in order to continue living their best, independent life and good on them for doing so.”


Adapting the advice process

Samantha Bickford, mortgage and equity release specialist at Clarity Wealth Management, said that she had recently worked with a client with fibromyalgia and mental health issues as a war veteran, so had to adapt the way she worked in order to support them.

She continued: “He can have irregular mood swings and often cancelled our appointments if he wasn’t feeling up to it, or got very frustrated when things were difficult. I made the process as easy as possible for him, offering to support him with completing any paperwork they needed to complete and changing appointment times to suit his needs.”

Bickford said she also had to battle with a lender who would not accept his war disablement as income. “This is a pension income in place for life, however as the lender did not have this on their ‘acceptable income’ list, it was a ‘computer says no’ exercise.”


In person is always best

Jane King, mortgage and equity release adviser at Ash Ridge Private Finance, said she makes a point of meeting all the clients she advises, which may mean visiting diabled clients in their own homes.

She added: “I am perfectly at ease bringing up the subject with clients without any embarrassment or awkwardness, and discussing any issues or problems they feel may arise during the process and hopefully put their minds at rest. My experience is that the disabled do not want their situation ignored and glossed over.”

King added that it is important for brokers to be flexible, and tailor the way they work to suit the client. “Our processes can change to suit, for example we can do the entire process by email if hearing/speech is a problem or vice versa if sight is an issue.”

There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in