View more on these topics

60 Seconds with…Andrea Rozario

andrea_rozario.gif

Andrea Rozario
Director-general
Safe Home Income Plans

Is there enough customer demand to sustain the equity release market?
There’s no question that there is demand. When you look at demographic trends along with other drivers for equity release such as customers who are asset-rich but cash-poor it’s clear that there is latent demand.

Of course, the recession is having far-reaching effects on pensioners. Many have seen their incomes severely depleted, and while house prices have taken a dip recently a lot of pensioners are still sitting on huge amounts of equity. So we are in an evolving situation – our customers are changing and our industry needs to understand more about their requirements and adapt accordingly.

Do you think brokers should take equity release qualifications or refer business to specialists?
All advisers who work in the retirement industry should have an understanding of equity release and be able to recognise when it may be of benefit to their clients. If they decide they do not want to deal with it they should ensure they have a network of qualified contacts they can refer the business to. But to ignore a client’s biggest asset when planning their retirement is unacceptable. What they do with that asset will depend on their circumstances but it must be taken into account.

How has the recent withdrawal of high-profile providers affected the sector?
It’s fair to say there has been an effect on confidence, both among customers and providers. But when you look at the reasons for providers withdrawing such as failure to find funding and the ability to make higher profits elsewhere, it’s understandable. We will see some providers returning to the market this year and we’re also likely to see new entrants at some point, which will help to boost confidence.

What can be done to attract more funding?
If we can educate companies about pension schemes and public pension fund managers to see the benefits of equity release rather than dismiss it as complicated and risky, we will see a rise in interest.

A lot of work is needed to bring the sector to the attention of would-be funders.

Do you think we’ll see new entrants this year?
Prudential leaving the market is seen by many as a gap waiting to be filled so it’s a case of watch this space.

Interview by Natalie Holt

Recommended

John Charcol says debt left behind was bosses’

The £3.7m in liabilities that John Charcol left behind when it went into liquidation was owed to the company’s directors, according to the brokerage. Documents filed at Companies House last week reveal that it officially entered into liquidation on April 6, at which time it had outstanding liabilities of £3,726,834. The bulk of this debt […]

Tributes pour in for Thomas – ‘one of the good guys’

It was with huge sadness that I read last week about the recent death of Paul Thomas, chief risk officer at Kensington. I worked with Paul for a few months before the market crashed in 2007 and was amazed at his encyclopaedic knowledge of the mortgage business, securitisation and the capital markets. More importantly, Paul […]

Who cares?

By Tracey Dickson, marketing consultant There are almost 7 million carers in the UK – that’s around 10 per cent of the population who provide unpaid care for a disabled, seriously ill or older loved one.1 But according to a report from the charity Carers UK, 20 per cent of people providing 50 hours or more of care […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up