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Case study 5: How LV= dealt with an insistent vulnerable customer

Our Customer Experience Team became concerned about a pension scheme member who repeatedly contacted us to request a lump sum payment from his plan which represented a significant proportion of its overall value. This member was clearly unable to understand or action the steps required to withdraw a lump sum, and became distressed that his request hadn’t been followed, despite being talked through the process several times. This member was flagged as vulnerable and one of our Vulnerable Customer Champions was assigned to the case.

We received a call from a third party who claimed to be advocate and carer for the scheme member. This individual advised the member was suffering mental health issues and that the family were in the process of obtaining Power of Attorney. They requested we not pay any further money from the scheme, as the member was unable to make such decisions at this time. As this information was from an unknown source, we took steps to verify the possibility of a POA via the Office of the Public Guardian, who confirmed no such arrangement was in place.

Throughout this period the member contacted us several times, continuing to appear distressed and confused about his withdrawal requests. We issued the appropriate documents again, together with a bespoke letter highlighting the risks of accessing the money, and urging the member to contact their financial adviser for support. We also contacted the servicing financial adviser to flag that the member was experiencing difficulty in accessing their money, and asked that they get in touch with him.

When we received the paperwork back a few days later, the instruction had changed, from a one off lump sum, to an annual income of a much lower amount, which we consider to be a better outcome for the member. We have since also had contact from an independent organisation acting on behalf of vulnerable individuals, who are now working with this member and his family.