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SimplyBiz launches provider-backed referral service

SimplyBiz launches provider-backed referral service

Support services provider SimplyBiz has launched a referral service for its members to help them with retirement planning, equity release and care funding.

Hub Referral Solutions is provided by Hub Financial Solutions, a subsidiary of the Just group, which was formed in July by the merger of Just Retirement Solutions and The Open Market Annuity Service.

Hub has a specialist team of advisers which will take on liability for any advice given as part of the referral process.

Hub will pay advisers a introducer fee upon successful completion of a guidance or advice service.

The fees are dependent on the type of service used and range from 1 per cent to just more than 2 per cent of the value of the business, the firms said.

Gary Kershaw, compliance director at SimplyBiz, said: "There will always be certain product areas in which advisers either can't or don't want to operate. 

"This could be down to not holding the relevant permissions or qualifications, not having the right resource, sufficient time, or simply because it is an area in which they would just prefer not to be involved.

"Hub Referral Solutions will help advisers enhance the range of services they offer, meaning they can meet more of their clients' needs."

The equity release market has been booming in recent years, soaring past £800m in the third quarter of the year as greater competition boosted growth in the market.

Hub Financial Solutions has operated in the advice market for more than 10 years, serving 16,000 equity release clients with a total of £770m of releasable funds, according to the firm.

Bosses claimed the business has also advised about 2,000 customers on their long-term care funding needs.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just, said: "We are delighted to offer members of SimplyBiz a new referral service from our group business, Hub Financial Solutions. 

"The new service enables firms to offer regulated advice and guidance services spanning a wide range of retirement services including retirement income, equity release and long term care funding to existing clients and to new enquirers."

He said Just had carried out research before launching the service and had found strong demand from advisers for help in those areas.

It found eight in ten advisers it spoke to had had at least one client they could not serve due to their business model or lack of expertise in a particular area.

"We supported what we think are quite sizeable gaps in areas where advisers need help," Mr Lowe said.

Clive Balchin, managing director of Rossendale-based James Trickett & Sons, said he was fond of both firms and believed in the quality of the service they offer.

But he did not believe in the outsourcing of specific advice areas per se, which he said amounted to little more than 'sales leads'.

"Referrals are the lifeblood of any business. Anyone who can get referrals on a regular basis in this business cannot help but be successful," he said.