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Borrowers keep equity release from families to spare them worry and hide financial hardship

  • 10/12/2021
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Borrowers keep equity release from families to spare them worry and hide financial hardship
One in three advisers say equity release borrowers who hid their application from family members did so to avoid worrying them.


When asked why some borrowers chose not to include their families in their decision to take equity release, 29 per cent of advisers reported that not worrying their families was a key borrower consideration, down from 34 per cent in 2020, a survey from More2life found. Less than 10 per cent of advisers reported this was the case when dealing with vulnerable borrowers.

Some 83 per cent of advisers said that a barrier to borrowers involving family was not wishing to include them in day-to-day financial decisions.

Meanwhile, 38 per cent noted that clients were too proud to tell their families that they were struggling financially.

Almost one in five advisers (18 per cent) reported clients who do not wish to involve their families are concerned that their loved ones might try to talk them out of their decision.

The survey which was carried out to investigate adviser sentiment on client vulnerability found that three quarters of advisers thought it was important for family members to be involved in the equity release process. However, one in five thought family involvement was dependant on the complexity of the case.

Just four per cent of advisers surveyed thought it was not important for family members to be involved at all.

More2life says its findings revealed that advisers were becoming increasing aware of the support family can offer vulnerable clients. However, advisers also recognise the influence family can have over vulnerable members.

When ascertaining if a client is vulnerable, 66 per cent of advisers made sure the borrower was answering questions themselves, without coaching from family or friends.

Just over 41 per cent observed how any family or friends present at the meeting reacted or took part in the meeting when assessing the borrower’s vulnerability.

Dave Harris (pictured), chief executive at More2life, said: “Where possible, families can play a huge role in supporting people as they make choices around housing equity and the role it can play in funding later life. However for some, being open about their finances is more challenging as it would break a habit of a lifetime or they are concerned that their families will worry that they are struggling financially.

“Advisers and companies within this arena need to continue to advocate for family involvement and ensure that clients give sufficient consideration to talking to their loved ones about important financial decisions. Collaboration to enable the best practices for identifying and managing vulnerability to become commonplace is vital and is something that as an industry we must all get behind.”


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