The sector has several representative bodies, including Safe Home Income Plans, the Society of Equity Release Advisers, the Equity Release Solicitors’ Alliance and the Independent Equity Release Advisers Alliance.
Retirement Plus managing director Duncan Young says: “When you are speaking to the Government, you want to have a coherent voice so it has got strength behind it. The more support you have, the more your argument will be heard. If you put the bodies together, you will save money.”
EquityCare chief executive Tim Eadon says: “There is no point in having small, well meaning organisations that are doing nothing. What is their purpose? If their purpose is to break down barriers for individuals and clients, then all well and good but they cannot do this because no one has heard of them.”
Eadon believes that Ship is the body best placed to represent the sector.
Society of Equity Release Advisers chairman Simon Chalk says as the industry is only worth £1bn a year, it seems logical there should only be one body but he adds: “At the moment, membership is fragmented, so it is understandable that there are two or three different bodies all saying different things. The important thing is we should all agree to put advice at the heart of everything.”
Safe Homes Income Plans director general Andrea Rozario says she understands the benefits of a single body but adds: “We will have to see if it is feasible.”