The Vulnerability Registration Service (VRS) is pleased to note that the Money Mental Health Policy Institutes report Seeing through the fog published 24 January 2017 identifies some common factors in line with the VRS, its service and thinking.
The MMHPI suggests common ways in which mental health problems might affect a person’s ability to manage their finances along with a simple list of what might help. The MMHPI suggests providing control options to help people resist impulses, including giving cooling off periods and the ability to self-exclude from certain types of spending or new credit applications.
In line with the MMHPI report and suggestions, the VRS allows self-registration to vulnerable consumers who can choose an appropriate, non-descriptive proprietary flag fitting their unique situation, a self- registered vulnerable consumer can choose auto decline or refer flags. The auto-decline flag will allow Users of the VRS service to identify vulnerable consumers who wish to self-exclude themselves from certain types of spending or new credit applications. The VRS refer flag lets Users know that the consumer wishes to be taken out of an automated work flow, in essence given a a cooling off period.
The Vulnerability Registration Service (VRS) taking on the vulnerability challenge.
The VRS has been developed to help vulnerable consumers protect themselves against the financial, social and very personal hardship suffered as a result of debt and financial problems. The VRS is independent of any other database provider or credit reference agency. Its sole purpose is to protect consumers and provide organisations with a tool to complement their regulatory and social responsibilities around dealing with vulnerable people at a particular point in their lives.
The VRS does not replace an organisation’s responsibilities for identifying and counselling vulnerable consumers, but provides a ‘decision agnostic’ platform for consumers and the organisations they deal with as an additional safeguard for consumers during their period of vulnerability.
The VRS recognises the many forms of consumer vulnerability, including that of mental health or incapacity (half of those in debt crisis have a mental health problem*) and provides a single reference point for consumers and organisations participating in the VRS, enabling an individual’s vulnerability issues to be handled sensitively and professionally.
The VRS is a platform providing vulnerable consumers with a single reference point for recording their personal circumstances when they are looking to protect themselves against further debt or related financial problems.
VRS will help organisations which access the register (‘Users’) to identify consumers in potentially vulnerable circumstances.
The VRS provides Users with a Closed User Group (‘CUG’) environment whereby information provided by the consumer with their consent, or by a third party with a signed client authority or legal mandate to operate on the consumer’s behalf, for example a Power of Attorney, can be shared with other Users on a strictly reciprocal basis.
The VRS does not make any decisions for Users, but provides a service to protect the consumer from further hardship at a time when they consider themselves to be in a vulnerable position, enabling an individual’s vulnerability issues to be handled sensitively and professionally.
The VRS can be used at point of application or when deciding on any customer engagement strategies from marketing to account management, arrears and collections. Problem debt can make it harder to recover from mental illness, and three times as many adults with mental health problems report debt or arrears, compared to those without mental health problems.
The VRS does not indicate why a consumer may be vulnerable nor does it process the information supplied other than for providing a platform for optional User interaction in the case of consumers that have identified themselves as being vulnerable.
The VRS uses a very straightforward proprietary set of vulnerability flags that signify the source of the Register entry – typically the consumer themselves, either directly with the VRS or through a User of the service, for example a lender.
For further details about this exciting new register;
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org | Telephone: 024 7767 2996