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Addressing the Needs of Seniors and Vulnerable Canadians (Essay Sample)


Addressing the Needs of Seniors and Vulnerable Canadians. Some Canadians may face particular challenges in accessing financial services and in assessing the most appropriate financial products for their needs. Geography, cultural and financial literacy, or capacity to process information may pose obstacles to some groups. 1. What are the unique challenges faced by vulnerable populations? 2. How should the consumer code address these challenges?


Addressing the Needs of Seniors and Vulnerable Canadians
Question 1
Generally, vulnerable population is a group of individuals who have very limited options in accessing most vital services. Therefore, they have constantly been disadvantaged in financial services access in many countries of the world. The challenges faced only by vulnerable populations will be mentioned further.
Financial institutions have excluded vulnerable populations. The majority of vulnerable populations are living in poverty. Therefore, the saving rate and borrowing rate are too low for this group of people. Their purchasing power is equally low. Financial institutions have tended to keep off from such groups and environments to avoid incurring losses. Financial institutions are offering their services primarily to get profit; thus, environments of vulnerable people have not been particularly attractive to these institutions. As a result, this has sidelined vulnerable populations from accessing financial services, which is necessary for ending poverty and promoting development.
Vulnerable populations in most cases fail to meet collateral requirements of financial institutions. Collateral is a valuable property or asset that is going to act as surety when taking a loan from financial institutions. Most financial institutions prefer houses, land and established businesses as collateral. A large percentage of vulnerable populations has small tracks of land and live in low cost houses. Consequently, this automatically disqualifies them from accessing loans and other important financial services.
Vulnerable populations are financially illiterate. The majority of vulnerable populations have not received proper education. Therefore, they have no idea on the importance of opening savings or checking accounts. They have also no idea on the procedure of applying for a credit card. Due to this, they always miss unsecured loans offers from financial institutions. In some cases, they are tricked into taking loans which they have no potential of repaying. Therefore, they end up losing all their property.
Geographical barriers hinder to access financial services. Many financial institutions are usually located far from the areas inhabited by vulnerable populations. The money they require to travel to obtain financial services discourages many of them. Therefore, they end up missing these services.
Question 2
The government has taken measures to improve financial services to vulnerable populations through the consumer code. Namely, the government has instructed financial institutions to be responsible to their consumers. Rules on how financial institutions ought to treat customers have been set. Business behavior that is not in the best interest of customers is prohibited, which ensures fair treatment of all groups of people.
The government supervises financial institutions to enforce good practice and accountability. Through this, financial institutions are advised to provide a wide consumer education on their services and products. Vulnerable populations will receive all the necessary information to make informed choices.
The government is instructing financial institutions to disclose information on their products and services. They should make their interest rates, credit card fees and variable or fixed loans public before signing the agr...
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