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FCA drops plans for standalone equity release qualification

Home-House-Monopoly-Money-Property-700x450.jpg The Financial Conduct Authority has dropped plans to bring in a standalone equity release qualification.

Last September the regulator consulted on plans to move away from the current system, where advisers must be mortgage-qualified up to level three to sell equity release.

But today the FCA says it will keep the existing qualification following market feedback.

The regulator’s PS17/11 policy statement says: “We received mixed feedback on whether there was a market need for a standalone or top-up equity release qualification.

“Most respondents didn’t think that an alternative to the current approach would lead to a significant increase in the number of people appropriately qualified.

“Therefore, we have decided not to change the appropriate qualification for equity release at this time.”

The regulator adds that “a solid understanding of mortgages is, and is likely to remain, an important competency in giving equity release advice”.

The FCA originally consulted on the issue because it thought some advisers were not selling equity release because they did not want to get mortgage qualifications too.

The plans were backed by many advisers but criticised by the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, which warned standalone plans would harm consumers.

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