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Move to open up Ship membership could lead to innovation

Equity-release advisers believe trade body Safe Home Income Plan’s decision to open up its membership to intermediaries will lead to more product innovation in the sector.

In June, Ship set up a committee, chaired by Paul Smee, who is now Council of Mortgage Lenders director general, to look at the possibility of branching out to become a trade body for the industry rather than just for product providers.

Last week, Ship director general Andrea Rozario confirmed the trade body will open up its membership to include advisers, solicitors and other key stakeholders.
Bower Retirement Services equity release planner Simon Chalk says: “We sit at the sharp end and know precisely what will suit our customers, so, between us, I think we can work together and this should lead to some exciting new product developments.”

Equity Release Advice managing partner Stuart Wilson says: “It will be a challenge to unite everybody’s different interests but because of the specialist nature of the sector, I think it needs a single voice and Ship is the logical voice to have.

“It would be a natural conclusion that there will be elements of product innovation because of the tighter communication flow.”

EquityCare chief executive Tim Eadon says: “A single voice will make a massive difference in the equity-release sector. It is something it really needs.”


Networks urged to scrap single-tie deals

Just Retirement is calling for networks to ditch planned single-tie annuity distribution deals with providers due to concerns that clients will not get the best deal. Director Steve Lowe says an increasing number of networks are in discussions with providers over possible single-tie arrangements as they look to boost their revenue ahead of the RDR. […]

Transport permanent secretary is new HMRC chief

Lin Homer is to take over as HMRC chief executive from January 2012. She replaces Lesley Strathie who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year and stepped down from the role last month. Homer qualified as a lawyer in 1980 and spent 21 years working in local government posts including chief executive of Suffolk County […]

Junior league

The first in a series of articles that will measure up the junior Isa


Money Advice Service chief defends £350k pay to MPs

Money Advice Service chief executive Tony Hobman says the importance of the MAS’s work is enough to justify his £350,000 remuneration package. According to a written answer to a parliamentary question to Treasury financial secretary Mark Hoban, Hobman’s total package for 2010-11 was £349,341, making him the MAS’s highest paid director. Asked about the level […]

Europe: Volatile share prices create opportunities for long-term investors

Mark Page and Laurent Millet, managers of the Artemis European Opportunities Fund, look at why, how and where fluctuations in European markets can generate opportunities for their fund. When asked what the stock market would do next, John Pierpont Morgan is reported to have replied that “it will fluctuate”. His (apocryphal) answer proved accurate. Over […]


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