‘Better education for customers’ needed to make equity release more accessible

Advisers believe that better education for customers is the number one factor for making equity release more attractive and accessible in 2020, according to new research by Canada Life.

The new figures came from a Censuswide survey of 100 IFAs, with 67% of those surveyed choosing the option of a better education for customers, a 30% increase on last year.

The survey found the second biggest factor for the equity release market in 2020 would be better education for professionals, such as solicitors and tax planners, with 44% selecting this option – a 9% increase on last year when it was the third most selected option.

Canada Life head of marketing and communications, Alice Watson, commented: “Greater customer understanding of equity release is something which we have strived for as an industry, but these results suggest there is still more to be done.

“Previous research we have conducted has shown that common misperceptions around equity release still exist, and this is clearly something which advisers are experiencing in their conversations with clients.

“Although we’ve seen the amount lent using equity release grow to nearly £4bn in 2019, there’s still a lot of potential for attracting new customers. Our upcoming Equity Release Explained brochure will be a helpful tool for advisers looking to dispel the myths around the product, as well as for customers to explain the product to their friends and family.”

In contrast to last year, the survey revealed that only 4% of advisers think they could be receiving more support to make equity release more attractive and accessible in 2020. In 2018, this was ranked as the most important factor, when it was selected by 40% of advisers.

Watson continued: “Providing advisers with support will be key to the growth of the market in 2020. We’ve hosted 45 workshops in the last year, providing advisers with more support as part of our ongoing commitment to grow the equity release market.

“From our research with advisers, it looks like this commitment has paid off. To make sure they continue to feel supported in exploring equity release options with their clients, we’ll once again be providing workshops throughout next year.”

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