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Dedication is the key to equity release sales

Money Marketing mortgage round table

An increase in intermediaries specifically dedicated to equity-release products is needed to encourage growth in the sector, says Purely Mortgages managing director Mark Chilton.

Speaking at a Money Marketing mortgage round table meeting recently, Chilton said advisers are finding it difficult to fit equity release into their existing business models.

Bradford & Bingley head of product operations David Bitner says growth in the sector is being slowed be-cause advisers need to be regulated to advise on inheritance tax planning and long-term care so they can speak effectively with older clients on equity release.

He says those advisers who are selling equity release should be doing so regularly and not incidentally as a small part of their business.

Mortgage Express managing director Tim Dawson believes that there is a lack of certainty over mortality risk which is is increasing the cost of providing products and creating a barrier to more lenders entering into the market.

The panel agreed that the potential in equity release lies in income substitution – to draw an income – rather than receive a lump sum.

Mortgage Express managing director Tim Dawson says the firm is working on this possibility but it is a very complicated product to bring to market.

Chilton said: “I do not think there are very suitable distribution forces out there. We should be encouraging the growth of resources dedicated to equity release.”

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