New training launched to support customers with mental capacity limitation

By agency reporter
March 16, 2018

The Money Advice Trust has launched a new e-learning course and introductory guide to help creditor staff identify, understand and support customers who have a mental capacity limitation. The course has been developed in partnership with Argos Financial Services and can be tailored to creditor organisations across a range of sectors and in particular financial services.
The course was written by the Trust's Vulnerability lead Chris Fitch and builds on research presented in Vulnerability: a guide for lending, published last year by the University of Bristol's Personal Finance Research Centre and supported by the Finance and Leasing Association and the UK Cards Association (now part of UK Finance).

Mental capacity limitations can result in customers having significant problems understanding, remembering and evaluating information about credit products. This research showed that only 26 per cent of frontline staff reported that their organisation had a policy or procedure on what to do if they thought a customer had a mental capacity limitation.

The course and the new introductory guide, Lending and vulnerability: an introductory guide to mental capacity, both provide practical steps and actions creditor staff can take to identify customers with mental capacity limitations and other decision-making difficulties during credit applications.

Lyndsey Humphries, head of training and consultancy at the Money Advice Trust, said: "We are pleased to be expanding the number of courses we are able to offer creditor staff to help improve their support for customers in vulnerable situations. This new course follows on from the launch of our addictions course last year and complements our wider training and consultancy offering.

"I encourage creditor organisations to have a look at our introductory guide and course to see how they can further support staff and customers with mental capacity limitations."

The Money Advice Trust's vulnerability lead Chris Fitch, said: "We know staff and firms want to tackle this – rather than unpicking a customer crisis during collections, acting at the point of lending can prevent detriment happening in the first place.

"However, there is a challenge – our research indicates more than half of staff are mixing-up 'mental capacity limitations' with 'mental health problems'. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of staff also report that their firm doesn't have a policy on addressing mental capacity. "For this reason, we're releasing a practical guide on 'what to do' on mental capacity, and skills training on 'how to do this'. This will help customers, help firms, help customers, and ensure responsible lending."

* Further information about the new course is available on the Money Advice Trust website here.

* You can obtain Lending and vulnerability: an introductory guide to mental capacity here.

* The Money Advice Trust


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