Equity release advice shortage looms as 76% of IFAs yet to enter market

22 January 2009 / by Rebecca Sargent
There could soon be a severe shortage of equity release advice as 76 per cent of independant financial advisers (IFAs) have yet to branch into the market, research from retirement Plus has revealed.

The study found that 21 per cent of those IFAs have not entered the equity release market due to concerns over compliance, while a further 18 per cent cited unsuitability of market conditions as a reason.

This comes despite the fact that the equity release market is expected to expand during 2009 due to longevity, reduced pension funds and higher living costs.

Commenting, Duncan Young, CEO of Retirement Plus said: "I'm deeply concerned. In light of tightening economic conditions, equity release is now a key element in a client's retirement planning options, yet there are too few IFAs dealing with equity release.

"Brokers do have genuine compliance concerns, but the industry continues to work with the FSA to ensure both advisers and their customers have access to a range of products which are secure.

"There is also the safety net of knowing that equity release products, unlike sale and rent back, are sold with the endorsement of SHIP, which has rules that go beyond the FSA requirements."

As the economy continues to decline, Retirement Plus expects the demand for equity release to grow; it said that older homeowners whose pension and investments have been hit by stock market falls and inflation will need to consider the assets locked in their property.

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