Very few advisers with equity release qualifications actually sell the products, new research suggests.
Equity release specialists Pure Retirement says 9,000 advisers in the UK are qualified to offer equity release, yet just 500 to 1,000 are advising on it every month.
Pure Retirement head of distribution Chris Flowers says this is because advisers like to ‘collect exams’.
Speaking at an event run by Mortgage Strategy sister title Money Marketing, Flowers said this is becase mortgage exams are not ‘tasking’ and so some advisers may take them simply to boost their credentials.
Asked why the number of advisers actively recommending equity release products is so small, Flowers said:
“There are a number of reasons, but the honest answer is that people just collect exams. You might not like it, but I think people get the idea that they can read on the weekend then go [and take the exam] on Monday.
“Being really honest, it’s not the most tasking of exams and I think advisers think: ‘if I can get a few more points then I’ll get my exam’. I think that’s happened for a fair few.
“People want to be able to take an exam just so they can talk about it, so I think there are a lot of clients that go to advisers that talk about it and say ‘I’ve got the qualification’ but then not actually transact the business.”
Just director of distribution compliance Roger Pangbourne said that in his experience, “advisers do not take exams just for the sake of it.”