Call to ban phone advice riddled with self-interest

It was both surprising and disappointing to read last week on Mortgage Strategy Online that the Society of Equity Release Advisers and its chairman Simon Chalk have chosen to call for a ban on telephone-based equity release advice.

This is an uninformed view, riddled with self-interest. Age Partnership is a growing equity release intermediary business that provides all its
advice over the phone.

This alone indicates that a significant proportion of clients prefer this option.

Chalk clearly does not understand the benefits of the phone-based model, which among other things allows every conversation between advisers and clients to be recorded and scrutinised for training and compliance purposes.

I believe there is a place for both phone-based and face-to-face advice in equity release. Ultimately, customer choice must be paramount.

Whatever model is used the important thing is that advisers ensure they have the appropriate systems and training in place to give clients clear, independent and honest advice.

Comments of this sort are unhelpful to an industry that has faced many challenges in recent times and I hope both Chalk and SERA will review their position.