Independent advice imperative for equity release
Dean Mirfin, business development director at Key Retirement Solutions, addressed a seminar at the Mortgage Business Expo London and made it clear public demand for equity release advice was growing.
Mirfin said: “2005 has been an exciting year for equity release but also a fraught one. Consumers want advice but at the moment they’re not finding it. Demand for advice is stronger than ever and now is a good time to get the message about independent advice across as myths and misconceptions still plague the market.”
He continued: “Over a third of equity release plans are arranged directly with product providers. These customers are not getting independent advice or looking at the range of options available. Access to advice is limited and customers just don’t know where to go to get it.”
Mirfin also spoke about home reversion schemes and said the message is getting through to more clients that it may be the right solution. He said: “To not consider it as an option means consumers could be missing out. Home reversion has a 30-year history; it was around in the 1980s and 1990s, and has stood the test of time.”
Jackie Bennett, senior policy adviser at the Council of Mortgage Lenders, agreed: “The slump in home reversion was caused by providers pulling out of the area and also because it wasn’t clear whether it was going to be regulated. A Bill is going through which will bring it within the scope of the FSA and we expect growth in the next few years.”