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Avoiding age discrimination in financial services


"Vulnerability" arises from particular combinations of adverse circumstances and can affect people of any age and ability.

As we age, we are more likely to experience circumstances that increase the risk of vulnerability (for example, bereavement, cognitive decline or difficulties with activities of daily living), and many of us will experience several of these at the same time.

However, the critical point is that neither age nor disability should automatically be equated with vulnerability.

Many older people are capable and self-reliant and do not wish to be seen as 'vulnerable'.

Many disabled people, providing appropriate adjustments are made, are able to live independent and resilient lives.

Some people could receive additional support from a firm but do not want to be stigmatised as 'vulnerable'.

The language firms use in describing these additional or 'priority' services is vital as it may affect consumers' willingness to opt-in to receive this extra support.