Fintechs and banks urged to focus on vulnerable customers

The initial focus of this industry-wide programme is better serving those with debt, volatile incomes or low savings. Picture: Contributed
The initial focus of this industry-wide programme is better serving those with debt, volatile incomes or low savings. Picture: Contributed
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Tech consultancy Sopra Steria is encouraging financial services and fintechs to work more closely to help protect vulnerable customers.

The global group, which has one of its 22 digital hubs in Edinburgh, is launching Chemistry – a programme which enables collaborative working across businesses.

Sopra Steria's Rob McElroy: Together we can make a real impact. Picture: Contributed

Sopra Steria's Rob McElroy: Together we can make a real impact. Picture: Contributed

Sopra Steria is inviting industry peers such as banks and pensions companies to partner with fintechs and industry experts to solve “the biggest challenges customers experience in their financial life”.

The initial focus of this industry-wide programme is better serving those with debt, volatile incomes or low savings.

The Financial Conduct Authority estimates that about half of adults in the UK are potentially vulnerable, with factors ranging from ill health and life events such as the loss of a loved one to poor literacy and numeracy skills or capability issues, such as not having enough savings to cover an emergency bill.

Rob McElroy, head of financial services at Sopra Steria, which is teaming up with the University of Edinburgh and Fintech Scotland, said: “At some point in our lives most of us will be financially vulnerable. Serving these customers fairly is no longer optional and we want to be at the forefront of driving positive industry change.

“There already are some strong ideas in the industry about how we can make the lives of such customers better, but so far not enough actions has been taken. Together we can make a real impact at pace.”

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