Timescales are important to clients

Interest rate, drawdown flexibility, LTVs and early repayment charges are the big ticket items for product selection in the equity release market. But thought must also be given to service standards.

This market can be fickle and time is often an issue for consumers. The amazing fact is that even though they will procrastinate over a decision to go for equity release typically for months, once they have signed on the dotted line they want their money yesterday.

While consumers take this stance, timescale data will be important to advisers as this can have a bearing on provider selection.

Performance figures were last published at the end of 2005. The top three providers then were Northern Rock, Hodge Equity Release and New Life.

The good news is that following criticism during the second half of 2005, Just Retirement has silenced its critics and shown that it has learned its lesson.

Prudential has also shown that when it come to lifetime products it has its stall in order and has quickly positioned itself as a solid provider this year.

Don’t underestimate the importance of timescale and service standards. We track every case and typically see a 50% lower cancellation rate for those providers who feature in the top half of the table.

Service counts. And the good news for us is that most of the sponsors of our new Lifetime Advisory Services facility feature at the top.