2020 is the year technology will take off in the equity release sector according to Mark Gregory, founder and chief executive of equity release adviser Equity Release Supermarket.
Gregory (pictured) said: “For me the big change is technology, products are really flexible but it’s not about product innovation, it’s more to do with lenders becoming more technology focussed such as with portals where you can request quotes and submit applications.
“Lenders are working on it, but we need to be more connected so it’s easier for advisers to get quotes.
“From an adviser point of view, it’d be great if the industry improves its technology.
“Getting a good sourcing tool is a problem for advisers.
“It’s alright building it but you need to connect to lenders.
“I think that’s when the market will grow because advisers will have more time to see clients.”
Gregory claims that because lenders aren’t connected directly to these research tools, advisers can get quotes online from some lenders but they have to call others for information.
He added: “That takes time and time is money for advisers.
“I want a streamlined process in place, so they have more time to speak to customers and get more business.
“I don’t think it’ll happen immediately but by the end of H1, I reckon technology will kick off in the equity release sector.
“We want to build a more connected industry which will lead to more productivity from advisers.”
According to Defaqto equity release products are being offered at record low interest rates with the lowest offered at 2.85% from more2life.
Gregory added: “There have been a lot of changes at the end of last year which can influence this market.
“It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.
“Some say the market will reach £5bn this year but the market didn’t grow last year.
“We have our business and see it continuing to grow.”