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Networks’ reluctance holding back release

Mortgage networks’ reluctance to promote equity release is stifling growth in the sector, specialists have claimed.

Safe Home Income Plans has called on advisers to give feedback on the key barriers preventing consumers from gaining greater access to advice on equity release. Equity Advice managing partner Stuart Wilson says networks’ fears over compliance issues are preventing them from promoting the products.

He says: “There are many contributing factors, such as the extra cost of professional indemnity cover and the failure of many brokers to be proactive about pursuing this type of business. I do not think the exams are the barrier because they are among the easiest in financial services. But one of the main issues is that some of the big networks are reluctant to allow appointed representatives to offer equity-release advice because they are paranoid about the risks.”

Retirement Plus managing director Duncan Young says networks have failed to embrace equity release wholeheartedly.

He says: “It is only really Personal Touch Financial Services that is actively pushing equity release at the moment.”

Legal & General director of mortgages Ben Thompson says: “We have a small number of advisers that offer specialist equity-release advice and accept referrals as we believe a specialist rather than broad-brush approach is best. The sector has enormous potential and we will be looking at it more and mor, but only while making sure advisers have the appropriate levels of experience and qualifications.”


Delay likely on liquidity standards

The FSA may delay its strengthening liquidity standards consultation paper until Q4. It was due to release a feedback statement in April with rules implemented by October 2009 but BDO Hoy Stayward says it is now likely the rules will only be implemented “well into 2010”.

Bradford & Bingley writes off £500m

Former Bradford & Bingley chief executive Steven Crawshaw elected to receive a pension lump sum of £412,500 and a reduced pension of £105,318 a year. B&B has revealed mortgage write-offs of over £500m in its annual results.

A tough start for 2017 consensus trades

By Kacper Brzezniak Every year, starting around November, investment banks (and fund managers) begin to drip out their outlooks for currencies, rates, economies, you name it, for the following year. The consensus has been largely wrong for the past four or five years; those multiple rate hikes never came, the bond market is still alive […]


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