We have appointed Vulnerability Champions, who receive specialist training to enable them to assist vulnerable customers. We have implemented mandatory online training for all colleagues, we have enhanced access and facilities across our retail network in Northern Ireland and we have engaged with strategic partners, service providers and leading UK charities.
Amy Chapman is one of our 30 Champions in our UK business. She works in mortgage debt management, where she assists customers who have been identified as vulnerable. ‘There are many different types of vulnerability arising from health conditions, life events and accessibility issues,’ she explains.
‘Someone can be deemed vulnerable if they have a sight impairment or literacy issues and struggle to understand our communications.’
Other cases include customers who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness or have mental health issues. ‘We also encounter domestic abuse cases, where someone has had to flee the home to live in hostel accommodation,’
Amy says. ‘The conversations I have with customers tend to be longer and quite emotionally challenging.’ Amy’s role is to assess the impact that their particular vulnerability is having on their ability to pay their mortgage and to work out a strategy with them. Each strategy is flexible and tailored to the needs of the individual customer. As a former counsellor for the UK mental health charity, MIND, she has an ideal background for the role.