Equity release market set for greater reliance on technology

Fifty-six per cent of later life lending advisers think there will be a greater reliance on technology compared to paper-based systems when the equity release market returns to more normal operating models, according to new more2life research.

The lender suggested social distancing has prompted more advisers to begin using technology alongside other remote working tools to carry out day-to-day business.

According to more2life’s research, based on 352 UK-based advisers in the equity release and wider later life lending and residential markets, the majority (73%) of firms have started to use video conferencing apps more during lockdown, while 61% are relying more heavily on phone conference lines.

more2life also found that the use social media platforms to engage with contacts and new customers has also grown during the pandemic, with 23% of advisers citing an increased use of LinkedIn and a further 25% using Facebook more since the start of the crisis.

Furthermore, the study showed that around a quarter (26%) of advisers have introduced phone-based advice since the start of lockdown and almost half (43%) have begun to offer advice using video calling systems, having never offered either service previously. Over a third (39%) of advisers have also introduced additional checks to ensure their remote advice is compliant.

more2life CEO, Dave Harris, commented: “It has been encouraging to see that, with the help of digital tools, advisers have been able to continue to help older borrowers and process cases efficiently.

“As we begin to consider what a post-pandemic equity release market looks like, it’s great to hear that advisers have embraced the role of technology and that many of them realise the potential for technology to accelerate their business in the long-term.

“The coronavirus crisis has forced change in the equity release industry and we are hopeful that the methods currently being adopted will become a lasting feature of the sector.”

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