Advisers may need to change their propositions if they want to make the most of the growing opportunities in the later life sector, according to experts taking part in a panel debate at FSE Midlands.
Adam Carnall of Age Partnership said there was an increased tendency for later life advice to be delivered in silos with advisers choosing to be either later life lending or equity release or pension or long-term care specialists, rather than providing holistic advice.
Steve Cox of Hodge Lifetime said both regulation and market factors had pushed advisers down this route.
He said: “Ironically, regulation has driven advisers into silos. The problem is that I’ve yet to meet an adviser who is a master of all those areas of later life advice. So, the advice model will need to evolve because it does make sense that you take all those later life advice needs into account.”
He added: “The advice model will need to change to more partnerships with specialists or through having more experts in these areas working within firms.”
The panel also discussed the specific opportunity that exists for advisers in the equity release market, which is likely to lend more than £3bn in 2017 according to the latest figures from the Equity Release Council.
Jason Ruse of Key Partnerships said: “Advisers don’t often realise the potential that exists with equity release advice. There’s a big opportunity and I don’t think advisers are as tuned into it as they could be – for instance, equity release products have changed a lot in the past five years and advisers who provided equity release advice a few years ago will have remortgage opportunities today.”
Steve Cox said that the FCA is taking a considerable interest in the provision of later life advice. He said: “The regulator is taking [later life advice provision] seriously.
“There is lots of talk about sign-posting consumers to advice. A lot of Google searches are made by people looking for ‘mortgages for the over 50s’ and ‘mortgages for later life’ – the problem is they don’t point anywhere in terms of advice provision. We should be asking the FCA what it is doing to signpost where consumers go for advice.”
That panel was speaking at today’s Financial Services Expo (FSE) Midlands at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.