Broker firm Just Mortgages has partnered with Key Partnerships to ensure their clients can access equity release advice.
From now on, Just Mortgages will refer any client interested in equity release to Key — an independent equity release broker for the over 55s.
It said the move was part of a drive to ensure its brokers can cater fully to the increasing number of clients looking at the later life lending market.
Last month, figures from the Equity Release Council said the market had its busiest start to any year on record this year and a poll from Canada Life in January showed an overwhelming majority of IFAs expected record lending in the equity release sector in 2019.
Just Mortgages, an appointed representative in the network Openwork, will look to provide its own advisers with the qualifications to provide equity release advice in the near future but said it recognised some advisers would prefer to keep a referral service.
Therefore the firm’s arrangement with Key is expected to be a long-term partnership and advisers will be able to choose whether to become qualified in equity release or continue to refer clients to Key.
John Phillips, group operations director for Just Mortgages, said: "We recognise the growing importance of later life lending in all of its guises and equity release forms a very important part of that.
"Not only can it help people when they need it most by providing solutions to challenging financial issues, but it can also be used for gifting and ‘age proofing’ their homes.
"Equity release is increasingly a vital part of the mortgage advice mix and that is why this relationship with leading equity release provider, Key Partnerships, is such a vital one."
Jason Ruse, head of Key Partnerships, said the industry was seeing more companies recognise that being unable to help customers looking for later life lending support was putting them at a competitive disadvantage and said the firm was delighted to be working with Just Mortgages to help counter this.
Commenting on the partnership, Nick Morrey, product technical manager at John Charcol, said: "Catering for post-retirement lending needs has become much more open in recent years with more lenders looking to lend beyond age 85.
"Normal brokers are allowed to advise on traditional and Rio mortgages but in order to potentially recommend something from all later life lending options they must also consider equity release mortgages for which they need to be appropriately qualified.
"This partnership is another example of brokerages trying their best to cater to their clients' ever changing needs before they have enough qualified brokers to advise on all three possibilities.
"I expect to see more of these partnerships in the future, which bodes well for consumers who will benefit from being able to get advice on all three lending options more easily than before."