Growing the equity release market

  • |
  • 46 mins 54 secs

Learning: Structured


  • Hattie Fancourt, National Account Manager, Pure Retirement
  • Rob Miles, Head of Intermediary Sales, L&G Home Finance

Learning outcomes:

  1. The impact of Covid on the equity release market
  2. Why a growing number of high net worth clients are using products for IHT and wealth transfer
  3. Using property as a part of a later life divorce settlement
Channel: Later Life

Automatically generated using Asset TV AI and Amazon Web Services.

It may contain errors and omissions.

Yeah, demands for equity release is rising. But what is driving it here to help me answer that question, I'm joined by experts. I have Hattie Fan Court national account manager at pure retirement and rob miles head of intermediary sales at LNG home finance. So starting with you Hattie, we're seeing that this demand is rising, what customers are driving the increase. So what's really fantastic about the equity release market is even through Covid and Brexit and other factors to the market, it stayed incredibly strong. And the reason for that is the clients that were helping adapt and evolve along with the market itself. So when you think of equity release, you might think of repaying interest, only mortgages, debts, care fees, those kind of things which very much are still part of the bread and butter of equity release. But we've seen new trends and new clients are coming forward to access equity release for very different reasons. So I'd say over the last couple of years, especially with the pandemic, the trends that we're seeing are probably quite different to what we anticipated. So, pure retirement last year for the first time ever home improvements was the biggest reason for clients accessing equity release. And I think you're probably the same as me that we sat in our homes, we were looking at the things we're not happy with and making changes and that very much reflected through the equity release market as well. We also seen trends such as with the NHS being under so much pressure. Perhaps there's a lot of clients that are on very long waiting lists and we've been sat still for long enough and these clients are saying, do you know what? I'm going to go private, I'm going to pay for my own medical care and I'm going to get back out there and I'm going to start living. So just a couple of examples and I mean, I'm sure rob, you've got plenty of examples as well. Um but the market adapts and evolves and it changes. So whatever's going on in the world, clients will still need to access as well from their properties. We've still got the asset rich cash poor, we've still got the clients that need it for um, you know, quite serious reasons. But we're also seeing that new kind of branch of customers coming forward thinking you do only live once I'm going to access this money and I'm going to enjoy my life. So even though the demand is kind of staying level, it's different reasons that are driving, you know, people doing this absolutely. And I mean this year we are set for a record year, I think it's forecasted to end at about 4.5 billion this year, which is a record for equity release, which even though the start of this year, we were still very much locked down and things were still, Um, you know, quite in a bit of a worrying time with, with COVID. It's great to see that the market is coming back really strong and I think next year is predicted to rise by at least another 10% again. So turning to you rob, is this what you're seeing? What reasons are you seeing for this? Uptick? Yeah. I mean as you said there's there's always going to be the kind of need for people to look at a lifetime mortgage to provide extra capital. But we are seeing the market change massively in terms of people looking at more sophisticated reasons for using a lifetime mortgage. Whether it's looking to cascade wealth to Children or grandchildren. Looking at H. T. Um planning later life divorce is on the increase and people can use lifetime mortgages to help that process. Um So there's there's there's the need but there's also that that that advice that advisors can provide clients that will really help them manage their their assets and and for for once we're now seeing the property as a genuine asset that can be used historically. People have paid their mortgage of being very proud of their property that they now own. But it's what can I do with it now we've got a product that allows them to use that as a genuine asset and you work with a lot of high net worth clients and not to make a guess assumptions but maybe typically they're not the kind of clients people would associate with Equity release, what are the reasons you know that they're choosing this lifetime mortgages now with with high net worth clients and financial planners is more about HT planning, Looking at at intergenerational cascading of wealth, you know, the average age now for inheritance is the late 60s. And by that time do people really need that in inheritance? Whereas perhaps when they're in their thirties, that's when it's more beneficial. So grandparents parents are looking at a lifetime mortgage to provide a an early inheritance and actually see their Children grandchildren enjoy that money, perhaps get on the housing market, buy property um and and see it actually happen and as a consequence of that there are probably I. H. T. Benefits as well which will help that that client as I say, likewise, later life divorce is on the increase in the UK and and lifetime mortgages can be used to support that process and allow people to remain in the property as well as going through that process. I think we've seen as well that clients using equity release to purchase properties for themselves has increased massively. So before working at your retirement, I actually worked on the legal side of the transaction and it was quite rare when I was doing that, that purchase case would actually come through and onto our desks and it's very much a conversation that we're having, you know, day in day out clients are able to purchase a brand new property with an equity release mortgage. So they don't have to be saying in a residence to be able to access equity release money. So I think that's a message that's really starting to get across to the market as well. Yeah, I think, you know, say function planners are now viewing a lifetime mortgages. Part of their proposition allows them to to use that as part of their whole holistic advice for clients and they can really utilize it. It's not a, a mass market product, but it needs to be mainstream advisors need to look at it so they can use the property is part of the overall advice for clients to make sure that from a, from a tax point of view, right decisions are being made and they're maximizing their their whole asset asset portfolio. And we're seeing cases, I'm sure you're seeing the same case sizes of increased massively over the last couple of years, averaging around 130 £140,000. They were around 70,000. Um people are using them strategically to, Okay, so it's more like a sort of wealth management. Absolutely, yes. So from a, from a wealth management, from a financial planner point of view, it is that strategic approach and whereas before the property has perhaps been ignored or not viewed as part of someone's um assets, it now can be used in that way and brought into that process to ensure that the right decisions are being made. I was interested to know what you're saying with buying property? I mean, are these second homes or an upgrade is that people buying places in spain or is it sort of like actually upgrading, you know, where they're living at the moment. Yeah, so it's upgrading. Um, we've seen a huge increase in using equity released by holiday homes actually in the UK throughout the pandemic. So, you know, staycation has become one of the words that we use on a regular basis now and I think clients have fallen in love with the UK again. So we're very much seeing a trend in buying holiday homes, but the point I was making is that they're buying a new residence for themselves. So perhaps, you know, they would walk into an estate agency and they'd say this is the budget that I've currently got, what can I afford. Whereas now with an equity release instead of just being able to afford this one or this one, it opens doors to actually the one that's perfect. That was out of reach is definitely in reach for you. It's more like an upgrade and quality of where they live in rather than a kind of make do well in a lot of cases as well. You look at bungalows. So the client demographic that we work with there is a massive shortage of bungalows which makes them really expensive. So perhaps if they've got mobility issues and a bungalow is more suitable, It might be just that, that is something that they need to be able to access. So yes an upgrade in lifestyle. Um And perhaps if if if that's not an option and if perhaps they don't want to move then adapting the home is another use for equity release as well. So if they need a downstairs wet room or stair lifts um it's something that we can provide as well. And I think the important thing for us as providers is to really encourage financial planners to to look at this market. Um And and really see the benefits that it can bring their clients and it's not just it's no longer a market for people who have a need for money. It's it's about you know unlocking potential for for families to cascade that wealth to share their inheritance early. And and we we've we've seen some big cases come through I'm sure that it's the same you know £4 million loans where where grandparents want to to give Children their money. And and as part of that process it's it's it's supporting tax planning I. H. T. Planning and being very as a symbol for strategic rather than I need this money. And that's that's really key. And we would encourage advisors to look at that. And you've spoken I guess not the most positive topic but you spoke about divorce driving up the demand and can you speak a little bit more on that. Sure so we we've carried out quite a bit of researcher lng around later life divorce and sadly, is on the increased divorce in the UK at the moment is kind of platitude. But later life divorce is on the increase. There are a number of reasons for that. Um, you know, longevity lockdown lockdown did play a part in that, but people are living longer, they're more aspirational in retirement, they want to to do things and if and if the couple aren't aligned in their aspirations then because of that longevity and how long they are living for. They're making decisions to say, do you know what actually, we may well go our separate ways, but I think the key with a lifetime mortgages that any, the majority of solicitors who aren't aware of lifetime mortgages, the default will be to sell the property and split the assets, well, you know, with a lifetime mortgage, it could be that actually someone could use the lifetime mortgage to offset against a pension fund or the other assets that are included in the split, which will allow one of the parties to stay in the property. And the key thing there for me is, if you think about this property, unlike a bond or a nicer or an offshore bond, there's a lot of emotion included in this property and the families could have lived there for years. The kids could have grown up there, the grandkids could come out and play. So the ideal outcome maybe to keep the house, it may not be to sell it and split the assets, so to have the ability to offset with a lifetime mortgage and for one person to stay in that property, it could be a massive benefit for for a client. And again, it's this desire for advisers to look at this market as a way of, of supporting clients through that, because if, if financial planners aren't engaged with their professional connections, don't talk to their solicitors about this opportunity, then some of their clients may be missing out on on on the right positive outcome for for their clients, you've both spoken about this kind of like change and what people want. You know, this shift of quality rather than, I guess necessity. How is the market responding to that? I mean, how are things changing in terms of the structure of things that you can buy. The products in the equity release market are some of the most fastest evolving products and the whole of financial services. And again, you know, for myself to say that I've worked in equity release for, you know, just over seven years, it's not a very long period of time. But the change and what we've seen in that page of period of time is phenomenal and to say, now that all equity release products come with no negative equity guarantee, which means that clients will never own more than what the property is worth. So that's a really nice safeguard for clients to understand they will always own their property. So we're not taking the property from them. They will always own that property. Um And in terms of products themselves, the flexibility that is available to clients now is just fantastic. So for example, the flexible repayment options so clients can choose to service the interest. They can set up monthly direct debits with a lot of, with a lot of products, they can choose to switch the payments on or switch them off. So perhaps they want to pay for the majority of the year. But then over christmas january, they don't want to make that payment absolutely fine. They can switch it off and switch back on. So there's no affordability checks, but that flexibility is available if they choose to do that. Um You've got other features, such such as downsizing protection across the products as well. So if the clients choose to move later on, if they can't simply pour the equity release, then there are fantastic options in terms of waving early repayment charges. Um and giving clients flexibility to make those choices. So when they come to take an equity release, it is a lifetime mortgage. It is something that they should be looking at for a lifetime circumstances, change people's decisions change, you know, we don't know what, you know, five years down the line has got in store for us. It might be that they want to move to the seaside or it might be that they want to move abroad and live in spain, there are options on these products that give them flexibility to do that and make those decisions. And just just add on that lng, we've kind of recognized this shift towards higher net worth larger loans. Um, you know, say it's not unusual to have a million pound plus loans going out. You know, we've seen a huge increase in that market. We've, we're now developing a proposition focused on that particular type of market. The larger loans, um, you know, offering different, different aspects of the product that will support that transition into that part of the, part of the market to really encourage and stimulate the large alone kind of activity definitely. And I mean new funders are coming into the equity release market all the time and they are pinpointing areas in the market that perhaps haven't got the support that they need. So pure retirement, for example, we've got a really nice range of products and the one that wants to sort of pinpoint, so on the high lTV side of things, we've just bought a new product called the Emerald range, which offers a really nice high lTV as well as up to 4% cash back as well. So we're giving clients the ability to release those higher Loan sizes. And we've also got our freedom ranges which are really unique in the equity release market whereby the clients can choose to make payments up to 40% or 20% annually. Well, I was going to, I guess follow on that on the flexibility. If they did decide they did want to leave early, would they be penalized for that are sort of facility? Yeah. So equity release products come with early repayment charges. Most of the market now work with fixed early repayment charges. I think all of our products certainly offer that. I think you're the same, aren't you? Um So the clients from the offset will know exactly what the early repayment should early repayment charges are. So it's very clear, it's very transparent. There's no sort of hidden charges with an equity release so they can pay it off early. There will be early repayment charges if they're still within that time period. But there are other features on equity release products that might, that might change that for the clients. I think the thing is that the starting point for any advisor looking to get into the market that the decision to do a lifetime mortgages, the clues in the, in the name of it, It is viewed as a lifetime product. It's not designed to be repaid. So which is why we have the early early repayment charges in place. But you know, you can filter down, there are options as you alluded to of, you can pay optional payments on an annual basis to repay some of the debt. Um normally it's 10% um, and once you filter down all those options of making some repayments without charge, you get to a very small base where you would be charged. But as I say, the starting point is, and as I said earlier, it's not a mass market product. It should be mainstream for all advisors to look at. But the decision is that it's for life. That's, that's really the starting point. So one of the other ways that you can free up equity from your house is obviously to sell it and maybe buy a smaller house or one in a less nice area. Why could equity release be a sort of like a better option than that from? I think, I think it's an easier, it's an easy thing to say. Um, and I think a lot of, a lot of customers, perhaps even when they first by their house have have an end, in theory that they will downsize and move somewhere smaller. Um, probably the missing link in that is the fact that over that period of time, as I said earlier, there's a lot of emotions tied up in the house. People people get used to the area they live in, they will join clubs, maybe go to local churches, bowls clubs, whatever it may be and they have their network of friends. Yeah, bearing in mind a lifetime mortgages geared for someone in later life to have the upheaval of moving, even though there was a view when they were younger that they would do that, it's probably not going to be the first choice that they would have. Therefore, you know, looking at a lifetime mortgage will allow them to stay in that property release some capital, whether it's to live off or to do other things with, but it will allow them to release that capital and stay in their property, stay in their local network. Um, if they're going to downsize to, to create the capital that they would probably want to create from that downsizing, it would mean, as you said, moved to a completely different area Away from friends, away from network groups. It's a big shift. It's a big shift. It is. And I think the beauty, again, of equity releases, it gives clients that choice. It's their decision do they want to stay in their home nine times out of 10 is probably yes. And it gives them that opportunity to be able to do that. And I think if you ask anybody, would you like to live in a less nice area? I think. Um, so again, it gives them that choice that gives them that option, the emotional attachments, the community that they're part of its. And as you said, to free up enough, you know, that amount of capital that's a significant move. That's a significant downsides to be able to achieve what equity release can without that upheaval. So it in a lot of scenarios is a really good option for a lot of people now, moving on to how demographic shifts are shaping the market. So turning to you, we've seen that the Bank of England, they've said they're going to raise interest rates, you know, the environment right now is a little bit unstable. How does that impact equity release products and later life lending? Yeah, I think, I think there's there's there's no, I mean, we've we've seen over the last four or five months, you know, the the interest rates on lifetime mortgages has has fluctuated up and down. So there will be an influence there. I think the key message from, from myself and I'm sure that is, is that with a lifetime mortgage, that the key messages that that the the the interest rate is fixed for life. So providing the client is happy with that interest rate and it fits their requirements that the real comfort for them is that that that interest rate will be fixed for life. So no matter what happens going forward, they know exactly what they're going to be paying for and that they have an absolute certainty that that will not ever change. Yeah, I completely echo what you're saying there and, you know, I think going into 2022 interest rates will likely be quite volatile in the equity release markets. We do see um regular rate increases decreases. Um It's very much something that is part of the equity release market, but at the time of giving the advice, as rob said, is this right for the customer, is this, you know, do they accept the rate that we're giving them on this day and this time, and it's the right time for the customer to be exploring equity release. And we've seen that the market is super competitive right now, which is why there's so many, I guess, more attractive options. What happens if that changes for long term products? I mean, I This is my view. I don't think, I don't think it will change. I think from a competitive point of view, I moved across into the lifetime mortgage market in 2017, so less than less than Hattie. Um and and the number of competitors that have come into that market since then, it's been unbelievable and it will continue to be that way that that competition is is is either driving down interest rates or or certainly secure them at a relatively low rate. And I can't see that changing even in the last year, we've seen a couple of big players come into the market, which is good, You know, it feels it's a weird, it's a weird market at the moment, because as, as providers, we kind of encourage that there will come a time and I'm sure that I'm sure that will change, but at the moment we encourage it because the more competition in the market, the more brands we see distributing lifetime mortgages, the more we hope financial planners, mortgage brokers will say, actually, let's look at this market because if pure in their lng other big providers, it creates a sense of security and, and credibility about the market. So I think it's a broad statement and, and you know, to say the competition will disappear. I don't think it will, I think it will just increase. It's it's a very young market. Yeah. And we've talked a lot in the first section about the demand and the need that clients have for this. And quite frankly, we don't have enough advisors to service the amount of clients that need to access it. We do not have enough clients that are aware of their options. We don't have enough advisers that understand equity release in this kind of level of detail. It's a growing market. It is going to continue to grow. We're seeing, as I said, new trends, new funders coming into the market to fill, fill the gaps and it's just going to get bigger and the competitive segment, um, Individuals within the market. So if you look at customers, the, the, the, the knowledge and an understanding of the current lifetime mortgage market compared to how it was perhaps 2030 years ago, um, is not there that the number of people I talked to in my personal life about it. The reaction straightaway is that's not a good thing equity release has got a negative feeling about it. And when you start to talk about the changes and the protection and security that customers have advisors have providers have, they realize how much the market has changed its customers and that's across the UK. So there's a real education piece that's needed for customers. It's the same with the advisors and that's not being disrespectful to advisors. But the market has massively changed and there's a real opportunity for advisers to take a look at the, the modern lifetime mortgage market and see that they can, as I said earlier, genuinely use a client's property as part of their portfolio. It's probably their largest asset, if not probably the second largest asset behind their pension. Um, so there's another education piece with, with advisors to get them to look at the market and, and give it a go, you know, have a, have a look at what it can offer. Um, so you can really break that down and once you start then building into that client needs and, and, and going forward in time, you can see that the market is just gonna grow. And what I mean by that is, is a weird talk later around interest only mortgages and, and how people could use lifetime mortgages to support that process. Not enough people are saving for retirement, you know that the days of fun and salary pension schemes have gone, so people coming into retirement are going to have to look at their property to help fund that pension income. So the signs very much in a very logical way and thoughtful ways the market will grow. So staying on the topic of advise advisors, what can they do for their clients to make sure that they do get the best rate and product? It's very much there's a lot of support available to advisors in the equity release market. We've got some absolutely fantastic mediums that work for all of the equity release lenders. So there's an awful lot of support that can be found there. We've got some fantastic mortgage clubs that offer support and we've got some really great sourcing systems as well that couldn't help make that process nice and simple for advisors. We've also got the Equity Release Council that gives some fantastic guidelines to advisors. And it's very much a case of if they follow the correct processes and they follow the, you know, the correct advice process and they reach out to the resources that are available um you know, it's, it is what it is. It's one of those markets where there's a lot of support available to make sure that the advisor is offering what's right to the client, however, it is the is the advisor that holds the qualifications and they know what they're doing once, you know, once they're in this market, there is resource available, but it is, you know, the advisor will be able to will be able to find what's right for their client And staying on mortgages. So we do have a lot of interest only mortgages ending in the next 12-18 months. How is this a solution to that? Yeah, I mean it's it is a repayment vehicle and you know, a long story cut short, there's so many clients that are coming to the end of this interest only mortgages and they simply do not have a repayment vehicle. They don't know how they're going to pay it off and then it goes back to subjects that we've already looked at. Do we want to sell the property? Do they want to go through that? Um What else is available out there to them? Do they want to look at, you know, are they eligible for RIO? Are they, what options are actually available to them? Equity release is a fantastic option in many, many of these scenarios and it simply gives them that lifeline to stay in the property that they want to stay into without any affordability checks. They do not have to make mandatory monthly payments and it just gives them that great level of flexibility. I think it's really a category of that is it's The lifetime mortgage provides a just a really good option for for clients that perhaps are, you know, they're, they're in the property? They've they've purchased an interest only mortgage. They haven't, they haven't really considered um how they're going to repay the capital element of the mortgage. And they get to perhaps age 70 75 where they can no longer perhaps secure a traditional residential mortgage because of not necessarily our age, but perhaps lending criteria around affordability checks and things like that. Whereas with a lifetime mortgage, there's none of that, there's none of that, that the house is the security. So by doing a lifetime mortgage, they could, they could pay down the mortgage, have a lifetime mortgage and either make voluntary interest payments to service that debt as they have been with the traditional residential or not make those payments and say, do you know what we'll leave it to, to to build up and that's fine. Um But It's it's a huge opportunity and it's only gonna get bigger between now and 2032. It's kind of the peak of this when the traditional lenders will, will be demanding that money back. And the lifetime which provides a real opportunity for that. But I think the last 120 billion In this market between now and 2032. The reason it's 2032 is if you rewind to when mortgages became in terms of regulation on mortgages rather than self certification and kind of be able to borrow any amount you want from about 2005. That then changed. So then going forward, 2032 is kind of that, that there's a real market between now and then. There is, and we're seeing a particular boom in this at the moment because there was a lot of leniency is during covid as well giving clients additional extensions. So it's almost just kicking the can down the road a little bit in terms of, you know, if they haven't, they haven't got the repayment vehicle in place, giving them a, you know, a few extra months, you know, it's unlikely that they're going to have found it or you know, hopefully they've won the lottery. But if they haven't, it is a case that we are starting to see that kind of almost like that, that bubble of ones that were given the extension coming to the end of their extension. So it's almost like the second time they've come to the end of it and they are starting to panic a little bit. And I think there's a, there's a really important message here for for advisors because The FDA did, I did some research back in would have been 2019, um, around interest only mortgages and and how customers were preparing to repay the capital of the mortgage. And, and I think they were really shocked the fc about the response they received back. The response essentially is that customers are burying their head in the sand. They they are fearful of raising the subject that they will need to repay that capital. It's kind of if I say, I haven't got any way of repaying it. are they going to reclaim my house? So the message to advisors is to engage your clients who have got interest only mortgages. Talk to them about the opportunities of a lifetime mortgage because it could change their world. It sounds really dramatic, but it really could change the world because at the moment there will be thousands of people sitting in properties in it with interest only mortgages, living in fear thinking, how am I ever going to repay that capital? When actually there is a really incredible answer, which is the lifetime mortgage. So these these customers will not come to their financial advisor because they're scared of the outcome. So there's a real message here for advisers to to engage and and and engage with their clients to say, I can help you. Um And there's there's a real opportunity for advisors in terms of business. Yeah. In terms of lifetime mortgages, interest rate payments, how does that compare in terms of, you know, are they rising faster than house prizes? How do the two compare? It's a good question. And it's always going to be subjective in terms of house price inflation. Um And and and and how much interest rates are rising. But the key thing um with with a lifetime mortgage used to kind of in replacement of an interest only mortgages that the client has loads of choice. They can either service that debt through continuing to pay some interest or they can they can not pay interest and and and They can do that throughout the lifetime of the product. So they can they can choose initially to service it and pay interest and they may then get to 85 90 and think, you know what I now no longer want to service the debt so they can stop payments and that's fine. And and they can then that the mortgage will then go until they die or go into long term care and the mortgage will be repaid. Yeah. And I think there's a lot of great calculators as well that can help the adviser to kind of show this. And just sort of average house price increase is I think last year was probably about 10% across the country. I'd say that was that was about right and interest equity release rates. You know, they've been sub sub 3% if the client was eligible for those, but you know, average averaging between three and 4%. So you're looking at a 10% rise in in in most cases not everybody's homes. Um and then you've got you've got a rate fixed for life around those sort of numbers. So if things stay the way that they are, health prices are increasing quicker in a lot of cases. But you know, I just encourage advisors to use the calculators. Again, it's part of the conversation when you're talking to your client about equity release. You know, you'll know the areas that are massively increasing and you know, do do your research around your house prices because it is part of the conversation to have with the client. And I think on the subject of house price inflation, it goes back to that The way the lifetime mortgage markets changed to become more around financial planners and that holistic advice, cascading wealth to grandchildren. If you if you imagine um you know, long term house prices have always gone up. How do you say 10 if if a grandparent was to do a lifetime mortgage on their property, the the the interest rate that they're currently going to be charged, it's going to be helped by their house price inflation. If if the cascading of that wealth is given to two or three grandchildren who then buy property, there's house price inflation on that property on those properties as well. So all of a sudden the someone's property as an asset is working really hard to help the entire family. And that's a really key message. And I guess just on that that you know grandparents maybe buying houses for their grandchildren, How does that work in terms of inheritance tax? Yes. Good question. So it's exactly the same as any other inheritance tax type planning um in the as soon as the gift is given and it doesn't have to be used to buy property. It can be used for anything, but it's it's seen as a gift. Um And that will that will start the seven year um potentially exempt transfer clock running and and as soon as the seven if if the person survived seven years then that gift falls outside of the estate from from NIH t. Point of view um If they die within the seven years then it's it's the same taper and and percentage of charge that would apply to any other gift. Um Yes that's how so you know and that there is there that that again plays into that much more sophisticated type of advice. If I'm an advisor who has a client with a a £1.5 million property there is going to be a problem. Um If I were to create a lifetime mortgage and gift the money away or spend it or do whatever with it and create a debt on the property of 600,000 that will bring it below the threshold of of I. H. T. And that's a very very sensible way of of looking at I. H. T. Planning. Um It's it's seeing grandchildren benefit from the money but it's also creating a really good environment for the client as well. And moving on to our last section which is how to get into the market. So right before an existing wealth manager or financial advisor what do they need to do to actually be able to offer this. Yes so the first thing is again and this links to the protection for clients and how well regulated the market has become. Um an advisor will need qualifications, see map and er one in order to to advise on on lifetime mortgages and they need to get the permissions to give advice from from the F C A. Um it's it's a ci qualification. We help support that lNG we we have links with the CI where throughout the year we'll run um events and we we we bring in someone from the CIA to provide that training and help advisors get through the exams, all the details on our website. We also have an er one portal, so rather than be restricted to a particular day when our colleagues at the Ci are presenting that training, the R one portal will allow them to go on and do it in their own time. So all the, all the kind of chunked down into sections and they can go through that in their own time and become what we really want to help advise to get qualified. It's really important to us, clearly, because we want advisors in the market and there is lots of support to help them do that. So, different training options are offered. That's right. So so we recognize that advisors will all operate in different ways and have different choices about how they want to interact and so we've we've got together this Ci and we've created, we have we have someone who would do a day's event and that can be virtual or face to face will have locations across the UK where advisors can go and sit in a classroom or do it virtually online. We also recognize that that that is time consuming, that's the whole day out. So we have also created a and E. R1 portal on our website, which will allow advisors to go in and pick segments of the qualification and do it in their own time to allow them to then then sit the exam um after that, you know, there's there's lots of support for advisors. We run a newly qualified advisor type event where it will be an introduction to the lifetime mortgage market, how things have changed, how other advisors are using lifetime mortgages, the best ways of getting into the market. And then then thirdly, we'll run a what we call setting the foundations and and that is really about best practice, you know, how do you become truly excellent in the lifetime mortgage market? How do you do the right things for your client, for example, bringing Children into the conversation as part of the lifetime mortgage. It's really important what we don't want to do is for someone to die and for the relatives of that person to suddenly discover that they've got a lifetime mortgage. And and so it's all about best practice and and making sure that advisors are are really well armed to go into this market and advise on it. And I know pure you offer a lot of marketing support. Why do advisors need that specialist marketing spot? Yes. So what's great about this industry is what the different lenders do really complement each other. So we very much actively promote the LNG workshops for advisors that are interested in getting qualified and then it's very much other lenders will push advisors in our direction once they're qualified, How do I grow this business? It's not a case of you get the you know, you get that qualification, you go into work next day and the phone starts ringing, you need to let your clients know, you need to let your introduces know that this is now one of your part of your skill set and it's about getting that message out there and it may be and we see this a lot that an adviser has worked as a residential mortgage advisor for 15 years And now because their, you know, their book of clients is perhaps maturing or they want to just look down another avenue and they want to add equity release to what they're doing. It's about changing that, you know that 15 years of building up this business, this is who I am. I'm the local person that for any residential mortgages. People come to me I now want to get it out there that I'm also an equity release expert and this is another string to my bow that I can offer to my clients into my database. So it's about giving the tools to advisers to be able to reach out to customers and to their introduces and grow their business because from pure retirements perspective, the more advisors that grow their business and educate clients, educate introduces, it's just going to grow the market. The other conversations I enjoy the most with advisers is around that lead generation, they've got qualified. How would I get lead from? And and because because of the demographic of of of customer you're looking at, it's a really nice conversation to have, you know, in terms of position yourself in the market and lead generation can come in two ways. One is it maybe one adviser in advisor firm and it can be lead generation within the firm and Hattie and Pure and Lng will help advisors talk about that and and and and promote what they can do for their advisors internally within an advisor firm, but but also externally out in in the market in the community, you know, there's lots of, lots of ways advisors can promote the fact that now in the later life lending market, whether it's, you know, going to it's going to sound very cliche, but it's true, um going to balls clubs and promoting it, going to golf clubs, going to areas where garden centers, you know, it's amazing the amount of leads that the advisers set up if they set up a standard garden center. Um, it's the right demographics. People that go to those places are age, age bracket. And so we can really help them just think through how, how they can really grow those leads. It's, it's a, it's not a small market, but it's quite a self contained market. We touched upon it earlier that there's a lack of education from a client aspect. So there will be customers that are asset rich cash poor sat in a really expensive property that can't afford to put the heating on and they simply do not know what an equity release is, how it works and they don't understand that this is something that can help them. So, again, it's about uh, the advisers branching out to their community, to these people that don't understand it. And just explaining in an educational way, this is how it works and this is how I can potentially help you. And on that, what protections are in place for people taking out equity release. So, we touched upon it earlier on. So I think it just goes back down to, you know, it's, it's regulated by an equity release council, which put the best practices in place, it keeps the customer the advisor and the lenders protection at the forefront of everything that they do. So it's making sure that it's a really robust process. We've got a fantastic legal process on with, with equity release. So every single customer that takes out an equity release has to have a face to face physical appointment with the solicitor to show that they fully understand that they are taking out an equity release. They understand the details of this equity release. And just to avoid any, um, you know, any doubts of coercion. Perhaps as you know, a family, we've talked about inheritance, perhaps as a family member, you know, pushing them down this avenue that they're not comfortable with. So it gives them that opportunity. They, you know, there's no coercion, they can answer the questions freely and we can really understand that the customer fully appreciate what, what, what equity release that they're taking on. Um, and we've talked a lot about the product protections from a lender side as well. So it's a fantastic industry in terms of client protection and as an advisor, you can feel really comfortable and really confident that your client is taking out something that's great for them. And what actually, you said the equity release council, what actually is the council, what did it do? It's a good question. I think there are a few within financial services, there are, there are a few uh propositions or products like livestock that has, you know, its own kind of governance in the equity release council. It was, it was formed to protect customers essentially, but there are, there are over 1600 members of the equity release council, whether it be providers, advisors, solicitor firms, and it's basically that the activities council is there too to provide governance over the how products are produced, how they're sold. Hattie alluded earlier to, you know, some of the right to reside in the property for life providers will never own the property, it will be owned by the clients. Um, no negative equity guarantees. So look, interest rate is fixed for life because of the list goes on of this protection over over customers, but just as crucially, there's protection for advisors as well, you know, in terms of the the er one qualifications, um, that the fact that independent legal advice has to be given by for the customer. These are all stipulations and criteria set out by the equity release council and it's ensuring that everyone involved in that market is acting properly and and customers are protected. Yeah, I know a topic of discussion that certainly has been at the forefront of the last couple of years is vulnerable customers. And are we doing enough to protect them? So, again, it's another great example of what the council do and they have added additional steps to the advisor process in terms of vulnerable customers and helping give the advisors that education so that they can identify it and understanding a vulnerable customer and ensure that they ask the right questions to sort of dig that a little bit deeper and make sure that they are giving that extra level of support in that area. Um And the last point I want to make on the council as well is just that people have worked really closely with the council this year and we've created a advisor guide. So it ties in really nicely with what we were saying. So once an adviser is qualified and they sign up to the equity release counsel, it is fantastic resource available through the whole process. So it's almost like holding the advisers hand from the offset from the start, all the way through the transaction, giving them a great level of information, support advice and just gives them that really good first step into the industry. Unfortunately, that is all we've got time for today. Rob and Hattie, thank you for joining me and thank you for watching. Mm hmm. Mhm. Okay. Okay.

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