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Bower calls for more lenders and competition in equity release sector

  • 10/01/2017
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Bower calls for more lenders and competition in equity release sector
Customers looking to change equity release deals are on the rise driven by rate cuts, research shows, but adviser Bower Retirement is calling for more lenders and competition to keep momentum up.

A Bower Retirement study found 53% of advisers say they have had a rise in enquiries from customers, with 12% saying the increase has been substantial over the past year as rates have dropped to all-time lows of 4.3%.

However, advisers believe more lenders would spur on the kind of competition created by Hodge Lifetime, OneFamily and Legal & General Home Finance, in a market which could break the £2bn mark in 2016.

Average equity release rates sit at 5.66% and have fallen by nearly 1% in the past three years while the number of plans available has nearly trebled over the same period. Three providers are offering historically low rates with Hodge Lifetime, OneFamily and Legal & General offering deals below 4.3%.

Bower, whose adviser retirement adviser Gordon Cunningham won Best Individual Adviser at the 2016 Equity Release Awards, added that 78% of advisers asserted new lenders coming into the market would be the best way to maintain momentum.

Advisers also want to see more innovation with 34% calling for more retirement lending while the same number said further rate cuts would be the best way to continue market growth.

Andrea Rozario (pictured), chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement, said: “Increased competition in the market with new lenders such as Legal & General and OneFamily launching has meant rates have fallen significantly as the market has grown.

“New lenders coming into the market demonstrate the growing demand there is but it is also clear advisers want to see more providers launching this year to further enhance competition.”

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