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IFS says advisers getting appetite for equity release

The Institute of Financial Services says there are signs that advisers are showing an appetite for equity release despite fears in the industry of a shortage of brokers.

The IFS, which celebrated the first anniversary of its certificate in lifetime mortgages last month, says it has had a good take-up for the qualification that was launched last year in response to a growing equity release sector.

It has received 2,000 reg-istrations in its first year and now forms part of the advanced certificate in mortgage advice and practice, which was also set up last year.

The IFS insists that the certificate will equip advisers with the “skills and knowledge necessary to advise consumers on this sensitive product area”.

Industry figures such as Safe Home Income Plans chairman Jon King and Equity Release Advisory Service head Stuart Wilson have bemoaned the lack of advisers in the sector.

But IFS head of faculty financial regulation Mark Roberts says: “Equity release has come a long way since the first home reversion plans of the late 1980s. The fact that 2,000 advisers have opted to take a professional qualification in this area shows dedication to improving industry standards and a comm-itment to providing quality advice to potentially vulnerable consumers.”

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