Identifying Vulnerable Customers

Match your customer data to VAI to assist in identifying potentially vulnerable customers who may need your support

Introducing Vulnerability Affordability Index (VAI)

Identify potentially vulnerable customers, and meet regulatory requirements to protect them.

The Ark’s Vulnerability Affordability Index (VAI) enables organisations to identify potentially vulnerable customers on their database across the UK, in accordance with the FCA consumer duty guidance and other regulatory requirements around the identification and fair treatment of
vulnerable customers.

VAI will help identify who on your customer base might be potentially vulnerable in one of 4 key categories; Financial Resilience, Health, Life Events and Capability in order that you can carry out your own due diligence and put in place appropriate support and care.


Identify vulnerable households, UK wide in the areas of affordability, poor health, disability, poor English skills and many more.

Pinpoint households who have suffered a recent bereavement.

Gain insights into low income households who are just about managing.

Understand key property and household insights including areas of depravation, poorly insulated homes, rural areas & poor or no broadband access.

Comprehensive data for every UK household

Effective consumer vulnerability identification requires a comprehensive dataset. Matching your customer data to VAI provides insight into identifying those who may need your support.

Our data is open source and includes households with self-identified vulnerability risk variables, created at a compliant postcode level and tagged at household level for matching purposes, removing the need to positively opt-in or permission your customers.

The VAI Model

Each household has been scored across each of the 4 categories of vulnerability with a score ranging from those most likely to be 0 (no vulnerability) to 9 (highest vulnerability). Each VAI licensee can select their own score across each of the categories to set their own vulnerability threshold to act upon.

The VAI model base data is taken from a number of accurate, comprehensive data sources updated quarterly. It includes open source datasets from ONS, the National Deceased Register (at household level), credit application, open source pension data (at Output Area level) and income over expenditure data (at Output Area level).

This data is used to build out a UK wide model using disaggregation methods to estimate low level geographic values. The modelled data is then tagged at household level for ease of matching by the client. The process has undergone extensive evaluation and has proven to provide a fully comprehensive means of compliantly identifying levels of vulnerability within the 4 key categories of risk.



The 4 key categories of consumer vulnerability

Unlock consumer Vulnerability Affordability Index (VAI) benefits

Understand Consumer Vulnerability

Understand the nature and scale of consumer vulnerability within your target market and customer base.

Regulatory Compliance

Meet Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidelines & support vulnerable customers effectively. Ensure GDPR compliance – no PII data is shared.

Complete UK Coverage

Utilise fully compliant data variables for the whole of the UK. Identify vulnerability drivers & create customer support strategies.

Updated Quarterly

The VAI file is updated quarterly in order to respond proactively to changes in customer risk levels.


VAI is a modelled dataset using non-personalised data from different sources.  These are open-source Census and ONS data (presented at Output Area level); Predictor which is financial affordability data (presented at Output Area level); and the Ark’s National Deceased Register, coded at household level for bereavement and deceased data. The whole dataset is then tagged at household level for ease of matching so no personal data is used in compiling the register.

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Case Studies

The Ark offers unrivalled data solutions, advanced matching software, and leading suppression and identification products. The following case studies demonstrate the significant impact our services have had on our clients data intitiatives.


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