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Equity release sector must avoid complacency and collaborate on signposting – Burrowes

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  • 23/11/2018
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Equity release sector must avoid complacency and collaborate on signposting – Burrowes
Equity Release Council (ERC) chairman David Burrowes has hailed the success of the equity release sector over the last year and its best in class complaints figures, but warned against complacency.

 

He also highlighted that the sector was now not just part of mainstream financial planning but an essential part of the lifetime journey.

And Burrowes called on stakeholders to come together and ensure signposting implemented by the single financial guidance body is received and acted upon correctly by the adviser community.

Speaking at the Equity Release Awards, Burrowes (pictured) said the industry was beginning to get recognition from those in power.

“Government and parliament are getting with the programme and understand what’s going on,” he said.

“They recently endorsed the local government select committee’s recommendation that the single finance guidance body, when up and running, should signpost consumers to equity release among other home finance options.

“This signposting needs to be genuinely meaningful across IFAs of different financial services backgrounds.

“And that’s all our tasks to really respond to the greater need for collaboration on behalf of the consumer across the later life sector to ensure that customers are always treated fairly and receive the advice and product that best suits their needs,” he added.

 

Least complained about sector

Burrowes also praised the industry for its performance over the last 12 months and urged everyone to keep focused on quality outcomes for consumers.

“Looking at the recent Financial Conduct Authority data, it reveals that of all home finance products, equity release is the least complained about.

“But we’re not going to be complacent about that and wait for that complaint or bad headline. The council is all about leading and setting those high standards.”

And he added that the market was likely to keep growing as demand for older people to access money continues to grow.

“Equity release is no longer a niche within a niche, or perhaps even a niche, and indeed we shouldn’t just describe it as a mainstream product,” he said.

“I believe it is a fundamental part of the consumer journey enabling the elderly to access the housing wealth to fund their later life needs – whether to adapt property, fund care needs, pay off debt, give helping hand for members of family.”

 

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