A PhD researcher from the University of Lincoln, UK, was invited to attend a prestigious conference that brought together key parties to look at how to protect vulnerable customers in the banking industry.

The ‘Collaborate, Innovate, Protect’ Conference, hosted by Barclays in Canary Wharf, London, involved a number of organisations including the Metropolitan Police, Age UK, the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, British Gas and the Home Office.

Emma Stanley, who is currently studying for her PhD within the School of Life Sciences, was invited to attend the event along with her supervisor Dr Lucy Easthope.

The purpose of the day was to spark ideas in order to provide effective solutions that could be used to protect vulnerable customers against issues such as fraud and scams.

Many issues were discussed including; who should be classed as ‘vulnerable’, how much responsibility should each organisation take when dealing with a vulnerable customer and how should vulnerable customers be dealt with to both enable and protect them. The thoughts raised by these discussions could then be used to improve current practices used by all the organisations in attendance.

Emma, whose research area focusses on document forensics and the changing role of the signature, said: “This event was a great opportunity to showcase my research, which is looking into Elder Financial Abuse from a forensic document examiners perspective. I am specifically interested in inter-family abuse and the evolution of the signature plus the transition to the digital world. It was a fantastic networking event and has provided many opportunities for future collaborations with multiple organisations.”