Advisers are helping staff increase support for vulnerable clients due to the growth in inquiries about later life, research from Prudential shows.
The insurer finds that nearly three out of four firms have specific rules for advising vulnerable clients and half of firms train staff to spot signs of cognitive impairment.
More than two out of five firms (43 per cent) say they monitor for signs of unusual or concerning behaviour among clients, while 14 per cent of firms say they will refer clients showing signs of cognitive decline to specialist advisers.
Twenty-seven per cent of firms insist all clients aged 75 and over are seen with a third-party present, with 15 per cent imposing a general rule that clients over 80 should have a third-party present.
The research surveyed 101 financial advisers nationwide and was conducted by independent researchers Pollright between June 25 and July 10 2018.
Prudential head of business development Vince Smith-Hughes says: “Later life planning is a major and growing part of advisers’ business and firms need specific processes to ensure older and vulnerable clients are supported.
“It is impressive that advisers are increasing support for vulnerable clients and are developing processes to protect the interests of older clients including providing training for staff of spotting signs of cognitive decline.
“More, however, needs to be done as it is certain that cognitive decline and its impact on the advice market will continue to grow increasing the responsibility for advisers to respond.”