Advisers urged to consider equity release

Amanda Jarvis

May 3, 2006

-Financial advisers feel regulation has helped them advising their clients on equity release products
-83 per cent of financial advisers think that consumers have an information gap about equity release1
-Pru calls for advisers to act now to take advantage of the opportunity

The call comes at a time when demand from consumers is high and growing, IFAs have pointed to a need for more education, and new competition from banks could be just around the corner. 

Jan Holt, head of sales for lifetime mortgages, Prudential UK, said: “This is good time to be an adviser in the equity release market.  Demand is high and people need educating.  Despite the opportunity, however, many advisers are undecided as to whether to enter the lifetime mortgage market.  This is a risk, as if advisers fail to act soon, they could be missing out on an opportunity that the big banks could take advantage of.”

Pru research shows that 19 per cent of consumers currently turn to an adviser for financial planning, whereas 33 per cent currently get their advice from a bank. 

Jan Holt continued: “We know most advisers see the opportunities of lifetime mortgages, but we are calling on them today to take act now to take advantage of it or risk losing it to new competitors.”

Consumer demand is high and growing
48 per cent of consumers would consider using a lifetime mortgage and 12.9 million Brits plan to use their property as part of their retirement income.  And according to advisers, regulation is one of the things that has helped give their clients confidence. 

Jan Holt stated: “All advisers who follow the rules should feel confident about lifetime mortgages.  Regulation plays a key part in helping advisers feel comfortable and protected and it also enhances consumer confidence as well.  30 per cent of consumers feel that regulation makes them more likely to take out a lifetime mortgage in the future. 

Education is crucial
However, there is a need for more education of those consumers.  83 per cent of advisers think that their clients are not as informed as they could be about equity release.  Over a third of consumers use only newspapers for financial planning advice, and Prudential believes there is a huge opportunity for advisers to educate the market. 

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