Most IFAs not offering 'specialist' equity advice

20 April 2006
The Association of Independent Financial Advisors (AIFA) reports that as many as two-thirds of IFAs do not currently advise their clients on equity release products.

Equity release has grown in popularity in recent years as a method homeowners use to generate capital by either taking out a lifetime mortgage secured against the property, or by selling off all or part of their property to a company while continuing to live there.

It seems that independent financial advice has not kept up with the escalation of interest in equity release products and opportunities, which continue to grow throughout the market.

Anthony Frost, a spokesperson for financial planning company Prudential, says: "Advisors need to be aware of what is available [because] it is not simply a savings product.

"Equity release is reasonably specialist," he insists. "It is a long term commitment so advice has to be spot on."

The AIFA has insisted that as the popularity of equity releases and lifetime mortgages rise, more IFAs will be forced to look into the policies and issues surrounding them.

Once demand is there, advice on opportunities available to homeowners will follow, ensuring the market becomes much more accessible than it currently is.

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