FCA consults on standalone equity release qualification

FCA consults on standalone equity release qualification

The Financial Conduct Authority has launched a consultation into a standalone equity release qualification in a bid to improve competition in the sector.

According to the consultation, the move follows feedback from some in the market that the current structure of the qualifications required to advise on equity release may be acting as an obstacle to a wider number of consumers accessing the product.

In particular, some financial services professionals told the regulator financial advisers may not be offering equity release because before they can do so they need to be qualified to advise on mortgages, which they otherwise have no interest in selling.

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The FCA proposes two solutions to the problem, either a fully standalone equity release qualification, or by topping up existing pensions or investment qualifications advisers already have.

Any new qualification or top-up would have substantial mortgage market content.

The regulator has launched the consultation to gain feedback from advisers without a mortgage qualification who would be interested in achieving the required knowledge to advise on equity release.