Using the BRUCE tool to support customers

The Money Advice Trust, a debt advice charity, have produced guidance to help dealership staff identify customers that have problems with making decisions.  The guidance uses BRUCE - a tool or protocol to remind staff of the key aspects of decision making:


Think about your own behaviour:

  • Know your products, arrangements, and offers to ensure explanations given to the customer are clear. 
  • Use simple language and break down explanations into easy to understand chunks – check customer understanding then move on to the next feature.
  • Never make decisions for a customer.


Think about how to overcome any problems with memory by:

  • Repeating key information, or simplifying information.
  • Using alternative ways of giving information (e.g. rephrasing or using a written summary if an oral explanation has been given).
  • Asking whether a friend or family member can help them.
  • Asking if there is anything else that could be done to help.


Understanding is key – support can be provided to customers by:

  • Asking the customer to summarise what they have been told (to identify what they might not have understood).
  • Repeating information to customers in different ways.
  • Summarising and simplifying information where possible (but continuing to provide any regulatory or legal detail that is required).


The following could also be considered:

  • Offering the involvement of a third party to assist.
  • Allowing more time for the customer to communicate.

Evaluation (weighing-up)

  • Discuss each option available to the customer individually.
  • Take the customer through a series of steps to aid their thought process.

Additional resources


A dealership guide to helping customers make decisions is available on the Money Advice Trust's vulnerability resource hub here.

The FLA in partnership with the University of Bristol has also produced Vulnerability: A guide for lending available here.