We’ll top fees, says Equity Advice

Equity Advice is waging war on rivals with a deal that promises to beat all other proc fees by 100.

The campaign has provoked outrage from rival broker Key Retirement Solutions, which claims the incentive is impossible to live up to.

Equity Advice’s Deal Buster campaign guarantees brokers a referral fee 100 higher than any other equity release deal they can source.

The deal is available until the end of the year but brokers must provide written proof of what they are earning from existing deals before proceeding.

Stuart Wilson, managing partner of Equity Advice, says: “We want to build working relationships with brokers. The only caveat is that they must be existing deals so that other providers don’t use their financial muscle to blow us out of the water, push up fees and drive equity release as an industry into bankruptcy.”

Wilson claims his competitors’ proc fees, given as percentages, can be seen online so it can judge what they pay brokers.

But Dean Mirfin, business development director at Key Retirement Solutions, says: “Our commission rates from providers are not published so he can have no idea what we have secured.

“This campaign reeks of despair. It’s 100% fake and there is no way he can guarantee it.”

Mirfin says Equity Advice cannot match the exclusive deals providers like KRS have secured and so will not be able to offer consumers the best products.

He adds: “Brokers are jeopardising their client relationships as any proposition that doesn’t lead to the best deal is flawed. Equity Advice is asking brokers to compromise for the sake of 100.”

Duncan Young, chief executive of Retirement Plus, says: “While I understand Wilson’s sentiments with regard to pushing up proc fees, the idea of pushing the sector into bankruptcy may be excessive.

“The campaign is brave and I’m in favour of extra fees but we like to treat all brokers the same.”

Nigel Barlow, head of retirement solutions at Just Retirement, agrees that competing with companies such as KRS is difficult be-cause of their size and prominent position in the sector but says that Wilson’s deal could be a good thing for the market.

He says: “Anything that gets more brokers interested in equity release must be a good thing in the long run.”