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IFAs help strong SHIP Q1 results

Safe Homes Income Plans says the increase in IFA equity release business has attributed to a solid Q1 2009.

Its Q1 results found that the total value of equity release business written up to March 31 was £245m, compared to £245.8m in Q1 2008.

The equity release group also found that intermediaries sales accounted for 65 per cent of all new equity release plans, an increase of 2 per cent, which SHIP attributes to the increase in IFA activity.

SHIP says the average sum released rose by 16 per cent, year-on-year from £41,718 in Q1 2008 to £48,287 in Q1 2009. However, the actual number of loans sold fell by 14 per cent, from 5,892 in Q1 2008 to 5,074 in this quarter.

SHIP director general Andrea Rozario says: “It is encouraging to see how resilient the equity release market is, especially when you consider the fact that consumers have become increasingly cautious about borrowing and the performance of the financial services sector as a whole.

“While there is a long-term trend towards drawdown products, Q1 2009 saw greater increase in the number of lump sum mortgages sold as potentially some consumers who may be worried about further house price falls and low savings rates look to release higher amounts.

“The relative stability of the market in such turbulent financial times is very pleasing. There remains a clear need for equity release products, which is becoming ever more important as pensioners feel the pinch from the recession.”


Family features

The arrival of a provider of the magnitude of Axa Winterthur into the family Sipp sector looks certain to catch the eye of IFAs keen to give clients an advice-rich experience. Clients wanting to reduce their inheritance tax bill will also find the concept appealing.

Age cap holds back Isa rise

After years of pressure from the financial services industry, the Government has finally decided to raise the annual Isa allowance by £3,000.

Revenue warns pension advisers

IFAs must reconsider retirement planning for high-earners in light of Budget changes to higher-rate pension tax relief, according to Informed Choice.

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