Equity Release 

Equity release advice deemed unnecessary

Equity release advice deemed unnecessary

An overwhelming majority of people feel they could take out an equity release plan without talking to an adviser, according to research conducted by Moneyfacts.

The research found 81 per cent of respondents aged 55 or above felt they did not need to speak to an adviser in order to take up an equity release plan.

This group was made up of more than a quarter of respondents - 29 per cent - who did not trust an adviser and 8 per cent who thought advice would be too expensive, while 44 per cent thought they could handle it on their own.

Only 19 per cent of those surveyed would seek out a financial adviser to take out an equity release plan.

Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, said: "The idea of taking out an equity release plan has clearly crossed the minds of many consumers, but what is worrying is that most of our survey respondents felt they could go through the whole process without seeking advice. This could be an expensive mistake down the line if consumers choose the wrong deal.

"Going directly to a lender, such as through an advertising campaign, may be easy, but it means customers won’t get the independent comparisons that an adviser can provide."

Two-thirds of those who took part in the survey - 69 per cent of the total - believed they had a "clear understanding" of equity release.

More than half of consumers - 52 per cent - were adamant they would not use equity release to fund their retirement, while a third - 34 per cent - said they would only use it if they had no other choice.

More than a third - 39 per cent - were deterred from taking up an equity release plan due to the impact on inheritance and 30 per cent were deterred by the interest rates on offer.

A third - 33 per cent - of respondents would never talk to their family about the subject.

The survey was conducted independently of Moneyfacts on 300 consumers aged 55 or above.

damian.fantato@ft.com

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