Connect launches specialist panels

Connect launches specialist panels

Connect for Intermediaries has launched two specialist panels to support its network members in the later life sector.

The specialist mortgage network launched an equity release lending and whole of market life panel.

The seven-lender equity release panel will be available directly to brokers with the relevant qualification and includes Aviva, Hodge, Legal and General, LV, More2Life, Pure Retirement and Retirement Advantage.

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Brokers without qualification can access the panel on a referral basis and an equity release course will be available to Connect’s network members.

Connect’s life panel will be advised for brokers who can demonstrate life sales experience and go on an upgrade course. It will also be opened up on a non-advised basis for brokers who have already attended the course and are signed up for non-advised single tie, who will simply need to request access.

Connect was established in 1998 and offers both a mortgage network and packager service in the specialist lending market. 

Liz Syms, chief executive at Connect for Intermediaries, said equity release was a fairly niche product ten or fifteen years ago but it had become one of the fastest growing products in the lending market.

She said: "As lifestyles change and ‘over 55’ becomes ever younger, equity release has enormous potential for adding real value, not only to the mortgage market but also our economy and society as a whole."

Ms Syms said many lenders were offering a later-life option as well as equity release.

"Now, with our later life and equity release lenders, we feel we’ve got an offering that enables our advisers to look at all of those options and make the right recommendation for their clients," she said.

Ms Syms said Connect wanted to encourage brokers to "reach for higher volumes", so has reduced targets for improved commission splits.

She said: "We have been listening to brokers and taking their feedback on board in order to improve our proposition.

"The new equity release panel and life panel, plus the secured lending panel announced last month will offer brokers more options for their clients, while the new commission splits offer a great incentive for them to push for more business."