Over 6,000 advisers have now passed the Chartered Insur-ance Institute and Institute of Financial Services’ lifetime mortgage exam.
The figures have been welcomed by equity-release trade body Safe Home Income Plans but it is also calling for more IFAs to do the same before August 1 to be eligible to conduct business with its members and also to raise standards in the industry.
Working closely with the CII and the IFS, Ship research shows that since April 2005, 6,019 individuals have taken and passed the lifetime mortgages examination and of these, it is estimated that about two-thirds are IFAs.
In June last year, Ship announced that from August 1, members will no longer accept any business from advisers who have not passed the appropriate lifetime mortgages exams.
Therefore, Ship says it is encouraging to see that a big number of IFAs have already sat and passed the exam and it hopes many others will do the same before the summer deadline.
Chief executive Jon King says: “Ship has always tried to improve standards in equity release and as a result took the decisions last year to make lifetime mortgage examinations mandatory, with effect from August.
“To date, over 6,000 have passed these exams but many more are required to meet the demand. We urge advisers to take advantage of the opportunity presented by equity release and the demand from consumers and start sitting exams well ahead of formal regulation.”