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Aims and Steering Group

What does the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce seek to achieve?
 

  • Provide strategic leadership across the Personal Finance Sector in respect of professional dealings with clients and prospective clients in vulnerable circumstances, helping to promote the concept of a ‘safe pair of hands’ in terms of both attitude, approach, business processes and outcomes.

  • Create a programme of work by soliciting the support of subject matter experts to help create a body of relevant educational material and ‘opinion pieces’ (held within the Resource Library)

  • Engage constructively with others including regulators and relevant Parliamentary Groups to influence change
     

Steering Group Membership

The Steering Group of the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce consists of the following members:

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Keith Richards (Chair)

CEO of the Personal Finance Society and Chief Membership Officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute

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Caroline Bielanska

Independent consultant to law firms, winner of the Vulnerable Client Practice Award 2017 (STEP) and joint founder, former CEO and Chair of Solicitors for the Elderly

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Professor Keith Brown 

Founding Director of the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work and Professional Practice (NCPQSW) and Chair of the NHS England Safeguarding Adults National Network

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Andrew Mason

Non-Executive Director, Matrix Capital Limited and Independent Chair of the Telford & Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership

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Robin Melley, FPFS TEP

Managing Director, Matrix Capital Limited and past and 2020 winner of the Chartered Financial Planner of the Year Award (PFS)

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Tony Miles, DipPFS (Secretariat)

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Tali Shlomo, FCIPD

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Laura Thursfield

Leader of the Birmingham Financial Planning team at Mazars LLP, Laura has a strong business focus on financial deprivation, vulnerable communities, LGBT, BAME and later life issues. She was also Rising Star in the Women in Financial Advice Awards 2018 and Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2018.

Head of Inclusion and Wellbeing, Sherman & Sterling LLP, globally recognised HR Director, diversity, inclusion and wellbeing specialist

Business Development Consultant of the Personal Finance Society and Technical Director of Care Navigator My Care Consultant

Subject Matter Expert Membership

We aim to establish a representative and authoritative group of subject matter experts to support the work of the Taskforce, including future membership of special interest groups. The Steering Group has identified an initial list of people we think would make a valuable contribution in these respects and will be contacting them individually to solicit their help and support.

Commentary from Keith Richards

Many people outside of our profession will instinctively feel vulnerable in respect of what might seem complex financial matters and when dealing with ‘experts’, until trust is gained.

Given the technical nature of much financial planning and advice which automatically places most in a position of knowledge-based dependency, if our profession is to grow and flourish we must address this issue head on and with a sense of urgency. In doing so, we must act not only in the best interests of our clients but do what we can at every opportunity to demonstrate and be seen as a trusted ‘safe pair of hands’, a term that I believe most people intuitively understand and value.

The current regulatory focus on vulnerability provides a timely opportunity as a ‘united’ profession to change public perception through the way in which we consciously deal with those in vulnerable circumstances and address perceptions or the unconscious reality of commercial conflicts of interest.

To do so, we need to find a way to collaborate across the personal finance sector and beyond, to find some basis of consistency in service delivery and understanding. It is with this in mind that The Personal Finance Society has put its support behind the creation of The Financial Vulnerability Taskforce.

I encourage every member of the financial planning and advice profession as well as those across the wider personal finance sector to align to the statements within our Charter , support this endeavour and publicly display your commitment via a new digital logo.

Keith Richards
CEO of the Personal Finance Society & Chair of the Financial Vulnerability Taskforce Steering Group