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Equity release trade body secures 1,000th member as market growth continues

by: Marc Shoffman
  • 01/07/2019
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Equity release trade body secures 1,000th member as market growth continues
The Equity Release Council (ERC) has signed up its 1,000th member.


The trade body, which has been boosted by new entrants to the market, has signed up adviser Sarah Barlow of Sarah Barlow Financial Solutions Limited (SBFSL).

The milestone comes after providers reported their busiest quarter on record in the first three months of 2019, with £936m unlocked from people’s homes, according to ERC membership data.

“I’ve seen a greater consumer demand for equity release as homeowners use it for a variety of reasons, including giving a living inheritance to help children onto the property ladder,” Barlow said.

“It was therefore important to me to be a member of a reputable trade body. One which promotes high standards of conduct and practice and helps consumers gain confidence in sourcing the right professional adviser for their needs.”

David Burrowes, chairman of the ERC said equity release was moving into the mainstream of financial services.

“With the UK’s population living longer, attitudes towards property and financial planning are changing across the UK,” he said.

“The retirees of tomorrow increasingly plan to use money invested in property as a ‘nest egg’ for unexpected expenses or to help family members while they are still alive. The UK faces a complex challenge to balance the financial needs of old and young alike and property has an integral role to play.”


The trade body


The ERC constitutes 300 firms and 1,000 registered individuals from providers, regulated financial advisers, solicitors, surveyors and other professionals.

Membership for advisers costs £303 for sole traders or individuals.

Firms with two to nine advisers pay £276 per person, falling to £220 each for businesses with 10 to 24 and £193 if a company has more than 25.

Its board includes Burrowes, who is also a former Conservative MP and ERC chief executive Jim Boyd, as well as chief operating officer Donna Bathgate.

Nine members of the ERC are also voted onto the board every two years, with current representation from More 2 Life, Retirement Bridge, Pure Retirement, Hodge Lifetime, Just Group, Aviva, LV=, Age Partnership and Key Retirement Solutions.

Other big providers such as Legal & General and Canada Life are members but do not currently have a seat on the board.

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