Equity Release Supermarket has written an open letter to the FCA to comment on the regulator’s ‘Mortgages Market Study Interim Report’ in May.
Equity Release Supermarket supported the FCA’s conclusion that the equity release market needs to do more to provide consumers with access to product information and website tools, so they are better able to understand their options and make informed decisions in respect of lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.
There is evidence that as the equity release market continues its rapid growth, more and more ‘lead generators’ are coming into the market making false advertising claims about the services they offer.
Equity Release Supermarket has observed that this false advertising includes the offer of a “free interest rate calculator” or the ability to “‘compare equity release interest rates”.
Once consumers click on these search engine advertisements, the websites they land on offer very basic calculators without any access to equity release product or rate information.
It appears that consumers are being misled into providing their personal data to use these calculators, which could then be sold onto the highest bidder without their agreement.
The letter ends with the Equity Release Supermarket urging the regulator to consider taking immediate action and investigate lead generators, which it considers is tarnishing the reputation of the industry.
The Equity Release Supermarket is the only broker that allows consumers to ‘Compare Deals’ using website functionality.