StepChange Financial Solutions has joined the Equity Release Council.
StepChange Financial Solutions is a mortgage intermediary established in 2010 and is directly authorised by the FCA.
It offers advice and support on equity release, retirement mortgages and residential mortgages.
Jim Boyd, chief executive of the Equity Release Council, said: “We warmly welcome StepChange Financial Solutions to the council’s membership.
“We have been working with our members to evolve our standards to focus on outcomes for consumers, including how products, services and interactions can effectively address and meet the needs of those in potentially vulnerable circumstances.
“We look forward to drawing on StepChange’s experience to support this work on behalf of consumers.
“As more and more people consider property wealth to support a range of financial goals in later life, it is more important than ever that the sector maintains and builds on the highest standards of consumer protection that exist for any form of property-based loan.”
Julie Gale, head of mortgage advice at StepChange Financial Solutions, added: “We pride ourselves on offering a unique contribution to the equity release environment.
“We bring a free-to-client debt advice principle to how we work that puts the client’s overall financial circumstances at the heart of our approach.
“Equity release can be a lifeline in specific circumstances, and we helped 600 people find products to suit their needs last year.
“We look at every client’s needs in a way that is designed to minimise their risk of problem debt or financial difficulty both at the outset and in the future.
“At the same time, we recognise that as part of the Equity Release Council we can learn from, as well as contribute to, wider debate about the appropriate role of equity release within society.”