Equity release adviser Key has supported its advice service with the launch of a digital platform as it plans to "aggressively" recruit more advisers.
The equity release specialist today announced (October 22) it has launched a platform to improve the advice journey for consumers and make the process slicker for advisers.
The platform, which removes the need to submit data more than once, aims to combine the adviser’s fact find, comparison time and application submission into one task in an effort to rid the adviser of unnecessary admin work.
According to Key, the platform will help “ensure consistency of advice” and make the process “quicker and more intuitive”.
The platform is currently available only to Key advisers but the firm will consider whether to export the service to the whole advice market in the future, it said.
Key has also shaken up how it delivers its advice service. Consumers will now have access to fee free in-house advice on 80 equity release products from lender More 2 Life, which is also part of the Key Group.
However if the client prefers a whole of market offering, they will be referred to Key’s ‘The Equity Release Experts’.
The firm, which currently has 123 advisers, said it was looking to "aggressively" recruit advisers to both its in-house service and its whole of market offering, both experienced advisers and those looking to enter the later life market, as well as to bolster its self-employed division.
It has appointed Rob Brennan, formerly sales director at The Right Equity Release, and Lyn Perrett, who had worked as operations director at The Right Equity Release, to lead its self-employed adviser faction.
Will Hale, chief executive of Key, said: “The later life market is evolving and we are evolving with it to ensure we remain at the forefront in meeting the needs of our customers, partners and colleagues.
“We recognise the important role that whole of market advice plays and are delighted that Mr Brennan and Ms Perrett have agreed to join the team to spearhead the development of our self-employed division.”
He added: “We see both of our advice options as growth areas for the business and will be seeking to recruit ambitious advisers who want to be part of a great team.
“We are delighted to launch these initiatives which mean that whether a customer wants whole of market advice, a Key Equity Release branded plan or access to other later life lending products, they can visit us.”
Martin Stewart, director of the Money Group, said he was "all for" anything that enhanced a client journey but said the client should get whole of market advice as a matter of course as opposed to an "afterthought".
He said: "I have heard some stories of late where clients may be getting steered down the equity release route when a more broader approach to advice would be much more suitable.