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Equity release broker hit with ‘misleading’ advert ban

  • 04/10/2017
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Equity release broker hit with ‘misleading’ advert ban
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert from equity release adviser Age Partnership for failing to describe key elements of the product.

The regulator received complaints from viewers who argued the advert was misleading.

They said they understood that customers would have to take out a mortgage in order to release equity on their property and also objected to the claim “we used some money to pay off our mortgage” made in the ad.

Following its review the ASA agreed, noting that the repayment commitment and the circumstances in which the lifetime mortgage was likely to be paid back would not be clear to the average consumer, and was material information they needed to know.

“We considered that the ad did not sufficiently, clearly communicate relevant information and detail about certain elements of a lifetime mortgage, specifically how and when it was likely to be repaid, and whether or not the scheme could be taken up by those with outstanding payments on their mortgage,” the ASA said.

“Because the ad focused on the potential benefits of a lifetime mortgage without sufficiently communicating those other elements, we considered that the ad was ambiguous and was likely to cause consumers to make further enquiries regarding those products when they would not otherwise have done so. We therefore concluded the ad was misleading,” it added.

Age Partnership disputed the complaints, saying that because it was an adviser it had to refer to the whole equity release offer, rather than the terms of one particular plan.

It added that until a consumer had been through the detailed advice process it was unable to confirm which type of plan was suitable for their particular needs.

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