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Case study 28: ABI member protecting a vulnerable customer from financial abuse

A provider recently had a case where the son of an existing equity release client requested to extract money from the equity of his parent’s home to pay a £64,000 court bill, which had arisen by defrauding another family member. The son attempted to impersonate his father over the phone but was unable to provide any evidence to the adviser that he was the client.

When the clients (the parents of the son) eventually spoke to the adviser on the phone, the adviser suspected they were under duress as they refused a visit of the adviser to the property and would not disclose the reason for the money. The case was referred to an internal panel of senior managers and it was decided that as well as being a risk for the firm, the request was likely to cause significant detriment to the client. The request was therefore declined.