Brokers ‘don’t realise equity release opportunities’

Ramesh Sharma

March 25, 2006

Despite almost 100 per cent of intermediaries having clients over the age of 60, Prudential has claimed brokers do not have enough knowledge of the equity release market and the changes it has undergone over the past few years.

Jan Holt, head of intermediary sales at Prudential, urged brokers to ‘wake up’ to the equity release opportunities available. She said: “At all of the events we have been to where there have been speeches about equity release we have had brokers come up to us asking about more information about flexible drawdowns. It is clear that a lot of brokers do not know about the huge changes that the equity release market has undergone.”

She argued that for most advisers, dealing with customers over 60 years old, equity release should be a part of their business model to make the most of business opportunities. However, she admitted the adviser numbers at the moment were not enough to sustain the market. “Almost 100 per cent of advisers deal with clients over 60, but most don’t do any equity release business. The figures don’t match up.” To combat this, Prudential plans to hold a series of workshops and is in talks with a number of other equity release product providers about the subject.

Peter O’Donovan, mortgage manager at Bestinvest, said: “The FSA has marked it as a high-risk area and brokers might be scared of the sector. Also, as there’s no sourcing system, it’s hard for brokers to know all of the products available, so I understand why there aren’t as many advisers in the area as others would like.”

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