Recent developments in the equity release market confirm our belief that IFAs represent the best way to get these products in front of clients.
And the demise of a number of big direct sales forces in recent years would appear to support this position.
But the problem is that many IFAs report they have few clients in the right age range and socio-economic group to support marketing campaigns that promote this area of business.
Also, many have chosen the approach of obtaining referrals from their existing clients. When combined with a local solicitor practice this route can work well.
Recent Safe Home Income Plans figures indicate that around three-quarters of all new business comes via intermediaries. This makes a recent Aviva report all the more surprising. It found that 86% of consumers over the age of 55 do not have an active relationship with a broker.
In other words, most of the people considering this product will have to find advisers to help them.
This is a huge opportunity to pave the way to new clients and, as most elderly individuals want to involve their families in the decision, gain access to even more potential customers.
As politicians wake up to the role of equity release in socio-economic planning advisers would be wise to consider their role in a changing landscape.