Call for brokers to learn about equity release

Bridgewater Equity Release is warning that brokers must embrace the home reversion market or customers could lose out.

Peter Couch, managing director of Bridgewater, says at the moment only one in 20 people are advised by brokers to take a home reversion plan whereas this figure should be one in five.

He puts this down to brokers not being educated about home reversions. Bridgewater is a subsidiary of residential property investor Grainger Trust and manages more than 2,500 home reversion plans. Crouch says it is crucial IFAs are educated about the products.

He says: “I think a lot more IFAs will be coming into the market in the next few years. We recently held roadshows and had more than 700 people attend, which would not have happened a few years ago. It shows brokers want to learn.”

Couch welcomes other lenders such as Norwich Union into the market, and says once home reversion is regulated by the Financial Services Authority it will attract more customers and lenders into the market as well as help educate brokers.

He adds: “Product development and regulation will help the market grow. We need to make sure home reversion is not overlooked.”

Bridgewater has just released a flexible product that gives the opportunity for customers to draw equity from their homes as and when they need it.

The owner can choose initially to release between 25% and 100% of their equity, with a guarantee that they will be able to release the balance as they require it.