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SHIP considers opening membership to advisers

ANDREA ROZARIO
ANDREA ROZARIO, REVIEWING ROLE OF TRADE BODY

Safe Home Income Plans is looking to open its membership to advisers and legal firms.

The equity release trade body currently only allows providers to become members.

But Andrea Rozario, director-general of SHIP, says it has been reviewing its role since January and has set up a Formation Committee to create a blueprint of how an expanded trade body might look.

The committee is headed by Paul Smee, former director-general of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers.

Rozario says: “With SHIP celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, it is the ideal time to review what we have achieved and how we can help the industry grow.”

Simon Chalk, later life planner at Later Living, would welcome advisers being brought into the fold.

He says: “The market is small and has only a handful of providers. We have different trade bodies for solicitors and advisers and it would help us if we had a single voice for the industry.

“There is still a lot of educating that needs to be done about the sector and a larger trade body could help do this.”

Dean Mirfin, group director of Key Retirement Solutions, says he would welcome advisers joining the trade body as long as it doesn’t distract SHIP from its original purpose.

He says: “SHIP has a specific role which is about safety and protecting consumers. It is important it doesn’t lose sight of what it’s there for and dilute its role.”

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  • Dennis Barrett 4th July 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Interesting to read the above article, a subject which has been under discussion for at least 5 years. SHIP was sponsored and formed by lenders for the specific purpose of consumer protection, and education of the safeguards introduced, also providing a combined lender voice for the equity release industry. This may prove to be at odds with the formation of a “Trade Association” which is normally organised to promote common interests of its members within the industry concerned. SHIP and member lenders have done a great job in safeguarding consumers and education of both advisers and the public. But, the introduction of a trade association may create conflict, as the equity release market supports both direct sales and independent financial advice sector. Some caution may be required.