Whilst encouraging people to pay extra attention to their financial wellbeing at what is a difficult time for many, research by the Government-backed independent Money and Pensions Service indicates that only 10% of people discuss their money concerns, fearful of creating anxiety amongst friends and family. However, all the evidence points to sharing making people feel better in the knowledge that others have similar issues.
Shared insight also reduces any sense of embarrassment at seeking professional help to resolve current or potential money problems.
An increasingly attractive option for the over-55s is equity release, allowing consumers to unlock the wealth from the value of their home, which may be their main or only asset, providing the freedom to realise a range of ambitions, including travel, home improvements, or helping children to purchase a home, without reducing any savings.
As part of its ongoing supervision of Mortgage Intermediaries, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently reviewed the suitability of advice in the lifetime mortgage market, noting that equity release works well for the majority of consumers, but some intermediaries aren’t ‘up to scratch’, risking harm to the most vulnerable.
Shortcomings identified include:
– Advice not sufficiently taking into account consumers’ personal circumstances;
– Consumers’ reasons for seeking equity release were not always challenged;
– Firms not always able to evidence that their advice was suitable
With Covid-19 continuing to have a significant financial impact on many people, the FCA is concerned that advice given to take out equity release products is clearly demonstrated to be in their best interests, especially those who may be vulnerable to external pressures.
Premier Equity Release takes considerable pride in its focus on just that, discussing customers’ reasons for borrowing during one-to-one conversations with our experienced advisers, who are sensitive to the signs of any potential pressures likely to affect decisions, which may not be in someone’s best interests. Sometimes, family members wanting financial support can unwittingly apply pressure, demanding funds to meet short-term needs, but we are alert to the stress caused and can explore alternative solutions for all parties.
Highly trained to offer tailored services ensuring that the most appropriate choices are made to meet individual circumstances, our advisers provide all customers with comprehensive information on specific products, setting out costs and benefits, inviting questions and encouraging them to take their time to deliberate before making a firm commitment.
You can rely on Premier Equity Release for rigorous compliance, and best value to meet current and future financial security.