Equity release ‘needs specialist advisers’

Ramesh Sharma

March 18, 2006

Following the launch of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA) and the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) factsheets and services dedicated to the equity release sector, Andrew Megson, sales director at Just Retirement, said the market was in need of more advisers to deal with an increase in buyer interest. He admitted the sector was starting to grow again, but said without more advisers, the market could potentially fade. He said: “We support the steps taken by both AMI and AIFA to draw attention to the equity release sector, but we have to get more advisers into the market. It is a fantastic start by the two trade bodies in highlighting the benefits, and potential pitfalls though their websites, viewpoints and factsheets, but there is a large consumer need for more trained advisers in the equity release sector.”

Jon King at Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), agreed more needed to be done to improve the complicated sector. He said the steps taken by the trade bodies were one of many needed to improve broker confidence and knowledge in the equity release market. “Anything that adds information on the area has to be welcomed. However there is a lot that still needs to be done and SHIP is in the process of compiling a checklist with AIFA and AMI. In 1990 when SHIP was formed, product standards were in need of improvements and the modern challenge that we need to tackle head on is service.”

Dean Mirfin, business development director at Key Retirement Solutions added the need to promote the right message as part of AIFA and AMI measures to tackle the sector.

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