Lenders and distributors need to show the increasing flexibility of equity release and how it meets more individual needs to help build greater confidence among advisers, Equity Release Supermarket (ERS) has stated.
ERS, which provides whole of market facilities for brokers looking at options for clients wishing to borrow into retirement, is receiving increasing numbers of referrals and requests for information from brokers, who are seeking alternative funding sources but are uncertain of the provenance of equity release.
Mark Gregory, ERS’ managing director, said demand for alternative funding options is growing and for many people, particularly those nearing or already in retirement, borrowing choices from conventional residential mortgage sources are limited and limiting.
He said: “Equity release is no longer a one trick pony. The ability to make voluntary repayments, to overpay and have protection to downsize are part of a wider range of features that are not really appreciated or understood by many advisers. Part of my company’s communication strategy this year is to help more advisers understand how much more flexibility is available to suit their clients’ individual needs.
“At a time when we have an ageing population which is asset rich but cash poor and where borrowing through conventional avenues is becoming more restricted, it is no surprise that the public and its advisers are looking for alternatives to help fund requirements into retirement.
“In the same way that second charge and bridging lending have taken time to be accepted as part of the mainstream, equity release needs its lenders and distributors to do more to build understanding and confidence in the products and what they bring.”