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Equity release referrals predicted to increase

Equity release referrals predicted to increase
 Credit: Kelly Lacy from Pexels

Introducers believe the equity release referral market will continue to expand over the next few years, according to research from Key Partnerships.

An October survey of 500 introducers by the referral service found that nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) believed the market would grow over the next three to five years.

However, the figure is a drop from the 68 per cent last year which, according to Key Partnerships, suggested the impact of the coronavirus had “tempered” the previous optimism of some introducers.

Jason Ruse, business development director at Key Partnerships, said: “With introducers predicting big things for the equity release market over the next three to five years, the potential for the sector is very clear. 

“That said, it is important for organisations to make the right choice around what advice they wish to provide and what advice they feel might be better provided by a firm that specialises in the market.

“Fundamentally, it is about finding the right fit for your business and your clients. The importance of specialist advice cannot be overlooked, and we welcome more referral partners into the market.”

The survey also found the choice to introduce business to a specialist adviser remained the ‘preferred’ route to market. Seven in 10 (70 per cent) intended to maintain existing relationships with specialists rather than offer advice, up from 66 per cent last year.

Additionally, the number of introducers planning to offer advice to all clients who required it halved from 7 per cent to 3 per cent.

Jan Johnson, director at 55Plus Equity Release, commented: “The increasing number of lifetime mortgage products available in the market has meant that introducers are recognising the importance of specialist and expert advice for their clients when it comes to equity release.

“Keeping abreast of new developments is a full-time job; advisers who really want to look after their clients understand that specialists can provide their clients with more expert advice to service their needs better.”

Last year saw providers such as LV and Royal London, as well as comparison site Moneyfacts, partner with equity release advisers.

Martin Wade, director at Access Equity Release, said: “The need for professional independent advice around later life lending is becoming more widely recognised across all professions.

“We are now having positive conversations with accountants, solicitors and even estate agents about how the modern day equity release market could be harnessed to help their clients.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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