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Aifa backs FSA equity release stance

Aifa has backed the FSA’s call for advisers dabbling in equity release business to get out of the market.

The trade body is pleased the FSA has differentiated between the types of firms in the market and their levels of activity in the results of its mystery shopping exercise released this week.

The research identified that those firms that have committed to the lifetime mortgage market have been meeting and sometimes exceeding the regulatory requirements.

However, the research also identified some intermediary firms writing occasional business in this market which are failing to give customers the quality of advice expected by the FSA.

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “This is a specialist market and if firms are not prepared to put in place the necessary systems and controls and to undertake the training needed to ensure they are competent to give advice in this area, they should refer the business to specialist advisers.

“The FSA has pinpointed several areas where firms in general need to make more progress. We will communicate these findings to our members and continue to work with the FSA to improve standards in the areas identified.”

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