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AMI hits out at standalone equity release qualification


The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has criticised the idea of a standalone equity release qualification, warning that it would cause consumer harm.

Earlier today the Society of Mortgage Professionals and Personal Finance Society said 61 per cent of its members backed the idea of a standalone qualification to enable pensions and investment advisers to sell equity release products without being fully qualified to sell all types of mortgages.

Currently advisers must be mortgage-qualified up to level three in order to advise on equity release.

AMI chief executive Robert Sinclair says: “The potential risk is they will only advise on an equity release lifetime mortgage product, and there will be other products available which may be both cheaper and more appropriate for the consumer at that time, but which they are not authorised to advise on.”

Sinclair continues: “The AMI policy position is that we strongly oppose any move to a standalone equity release qualification that does not take into account the full extent of mortgage lending, particularly as we are currently seeing a move from the regulator to move back to mortgage lending all the way up the age curve.

“Therefore, anyone who wants to advise should be fully qualified in mortgages as well as equity release in order to make sure the consumer has the right outcome.

“It is unhelpful when professional bodies decide to muddy the waters in areas of regulation and pretending to be a trade body.”

The FCA is consulting on the merits of a standalone equity release qualification, which could be taken by pensions and investment advisers as a top-up to their existing credentials without them having to qualify in all other areas of conventional mortgage advice.



Advisers call for standalone equity release qualification

More than 60 per cent of Society of Mortgage Professionals and Personal Finance Society members support the idea of a standalone equity release qualification to enable pensions and investment advisers to sell the products without having to be fully-qualified mortgage advisers. Currently advisers must be mortgage-qualified up to level three in order to advise on equity release. […]

Equity release reaches record highs in third quarter

The value of equity release lending reached a record high of £571.6m in the third quarter of 2016, according to the Equity Release Council. The sector grew by 26 per cent year-on-year, the figures found, with total annual lending for 2016 on course to break through the £2bn mark for the first time, having reached […]

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  • Post a comment
  • George Nicola 13th January 2017 at 9:27 am

    Great! This is fantastic news!

    Now then – let’s all invest in companies that will carry out complaints/claims against advisers who sold equity release arrangements without PROVING that they have considered alternative funding sources available to the over-55’s. And no, putting a statement in your report along the lines of ‘I *advised/recommended that you consider alternative funding options available to you but you *declined/refused/have already spoken to someone else and decided that this was the course of action you wanted to take. (*delete as applicable)’ will not absolve yourself of responsibility.