INSIGHTS ¦ Consumer vulnerability webinar: sharing vulnerability data – the pros and cons


The webinar hosted by Morgan Ash discussed the importance and challenges of sharing vulnerability data within the utility and financial services sectors. Experts including Dr. Chris Fitch, Vaughn Jenkins, and Johnny Timpson OBE shared insights on the current practices, potential benefits, and concerns regarding data sharing for supporting vulnerable consumers.

Key Points

  1. Morgan Ash has developed Mars, a software system for assessing and managing vulnerable customers.
  2. Utility firms in the UK share vulnerability data, covering 30-50% of consumers.
  3. Financial services are in the early stages of considering vulnerability data sharing.
  4. The Priority Service Register (PSR) in utilities indicates consumers needing extra help.
  5. Financial services are guided by FCA’s fair treatment of vulnerable customers.
  6. Open banking data sharing offers insights into consumer affordability and supports social tariffs.
  7. Data sharing benefits include reduced need for consumers to repeat sensitive information.
  8. Different types of vulnerability data sharing include consumer-driven portals, data exchanges, and dynamic data modeling.
  9. GDPR concerns and the need for consumer control over data sharing are highlighted.
  10. The concept of a data wallet for consumers to control their data sharing is discussed.
  11. The transient nature of vulnerability requires ongoing monitoring and support adjustments.
  12. The importance of designing services with consumer input and the potential risks of automated assumptions.

Key Statistics

  • 30-50% of UK consumers in utilities are covered by vulnerability data sharing.
  • Financial services are guided by the FCA’s guidance on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers (FG21/1).
  • Open banking facilitates sharing of payment account data for affordability assessments.

Key Take Aways

  • The importance of sharing vulnerability data to support consumers effectively.
  • The need for consumer control and consent in data sharing processes.
  • The utility sector’s more advanced practice in data sharing serves as a model for financial services.
  • The significance of GDPR and ensuring data sharing complies with privacy regulations.
  • The potential of data wallets to empower consumers in managing their data.
  • The requirement for services to be designed with input from vulnerable consumers to meet their needs accurately.
  • The need for ongoing monitoring to adjust support as consumer circumstances change.
  • The urgency for financial services to catch up with other sectors in vulnerability data sharing.
  • The critical role of technology in facilitating data sharing and enhancing consumer support.
  • The challenge of ensuring that data sharing leads to tangible benefits for consumers without infringing on their privacy or autonomy.
  • The potential risks associated with automated data processing and the importance of keeping human considerations at the forefront.
  • The encouragement for industry stakeholders to engage in further discussions and collaborations to improve vulnerability data sharing practices.
See also  [INSIGHTS]: OFCOM Treating Vulnerable Customers Fairly

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