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Face-to-face advice drives equity release sales

Face-to-face advice drives equity release sales

Age Partnership has increased its equity release sales by 22 per cent during the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year, something it puts down to launching a national face-to-face advisory service.

Traditionally the retirement specialists offered only a telephone-based equity release service, but it broadened its proposition at the start of 2015.

Due its popularity and demand for home visits, Age Partnership is now looking to recruit more field-based equity release advisers and grow a further 25 per cent by the end of the year.

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All advisers will have access to plans from the whole of the market, some of which come with preferential terms that are not available direct, stated the firm.

Sara Robinson, equity release field-sales manager, commented: “Our in-house training academy has been developed to provide ongoing support to help advisors in their role, ensuring the highest levels of customer satisfaction.’’

The latest figures from the Equity Release Council showed that across market as a whole there was a 2 per cent annual increase, as more people use their housing wealth to boost finances in later life.

The value of total lending also rose in the period half-on-half, up 11 per cent from £641m to £710m.

Earlier this year, the firm claimed the pension freedoms were one of the major drivers behind market growth, with its own figures suggesting Age Partnership’s advisers had advised on nearly a quarter of all equity release sales in the first three months of 2015, up from 20.3 per cent during the same period in 2014.

Increased demand has lead some participants to argue that many more specially-trained equity release advisers are required, should expansion continue at the current rate.

peter.walker@ft.com