The need for more equity release education: More 2 Life

Advisers have been central to the accelerated growth of the equity release market but more need to take up the mantle

The equity release market has been going for over 25 years, with the last three years seeing the biggest acceleration of growth. In fact, the annual growth rate for the market doubled between 2015 and 2016.

For those working in the equity release industry, this is a hugely inspiring result. But with the market expected to surpass £2.15bn this year, equally obvious is the fact that demand for advice around it will only continue to increase.

Advisers have been central to the growth of the market and will be significant in its continued development. They are essential in identifying whether such an offering is correct for a client’s circumstances. As such, it is imperative that more become educated on equity release.

The more work the industry can do to help with this, the more advisers, lenders and the end client will reap the rewards.

The other issue that needs to be addressed is the 7,000 or so advisers qualified to advise on equity release but who are not active or are, at most, doing just one or two cases a year. The continued education of these advisers in particular should be a top priority for lenders. This can be achieved via an array of options such as webinars, podcasts, forums and roadshows.

Advisers must stay at the forefront of industry innovations or risk losing clients to those more knowledgeable. But for those who do not want to specialise in this market, the ability to refer to a specialist will serve all parties well.

Last year, lifetime mortgages overtook buy-to-let remortgaging as the fastest growing segment of the market. As more older people look to release the equity from their homes, there is a huge opportunity for advisers to expand their clientele.

Stuart Wilson is channel marketing director at more 2 life