Recent research found that equity release loans worth a total of £6.2 billion had been agreed during the course of last year. That is a rise of 29% compared with the previous year, but it is not surprising at a time when older people own property worth £4.4 trillion while facing rising living costs. So, is it an area more mortgage advisors should train in?
To be able to offer advice on equity release products, advisors would need to supplement the CeMAP courses they have already done with a CeRER one. That might seem like it would be a time-consuming hassle, but as research shows, equity release and later life lending in general is a growing market. This raises the question of whether an advisor can afford to neglect it. The additional training is nowhere near as onerous as you might be imagining either.
Then there is the matter of Consumer Duty. This legislation passed by the Financial Conduct Authority stipulates that advisors draw the attention of clients to services and products that can best fulfil their needs. Those needs often change during the course of their lives, as their financial situation alters. Most experience a reduction in their income following retirement at a time when people are also living for longer, on average.
If they own property, equity release can be a solution to a situation where they have assets but a shortage of hard cash. Therefore, being able to offer advice on such products will help advisors meet Consumer Duty obligations.