It was also noted that the present framework often conflicted with the real world and there was a need for the qualification to be updated to focus on clients’ current situations and future planning.
Speaking during the adviser panel, AiR Group CEO Stuart Wilson said there was a lot to be done, but credited the Equity Release Council, London Institute of Banking and Finance and Chartered Insurance Institute with already starting work on the process.
“We need to move to a more broad understanding and reflect the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) work,” he said.
This, Wilson emphasised, meant the need for a “holistic understanding” of the customer which he believes has already begun in the sector.
“Later-life lending is a subject but then wrapped around that we have to have a layer of qualifications around later life advice,” Wilson continued.
He highlighted that awareness of care, estate planning, and tax and benefits were all necessary now.
“All of those ancillary subjects need to be composite parts of a good exam structure and qualification framework.”
‘In conflict with real world’
SimplyBiz Mortgages head of strategic development Richard Merrett was also forthright in where the system needed to improve.
“I think the qualification framework in its current format is often in conflict with what happens in the real world when engaging clients and giving advice,” he said.
“There’s far too great a focus on the past and products that are no longer sold.”
Merrett continued: “As Stuart highlighted [there is] absolutely not enough on current and future needs and there needs to be greater emphasis on the holistic piece – assessing future needs, long-term care, inheritance tax (IHT) – so they do need an overhaul.
“That will require a coming together of different people in the market and a coming together of the different trade bodies.”
You can register to watch the virtual Later Life Lending Online Event here: https://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/events/later-life-lending-event/venues/register-online/
Presentations will be available to watch for 30 days.