Three in four advisers highlight importance of family in equity release process

Three quarters (75%) of advisers feel it is important for family members to be involved in the equity release process, new research from more2life has suggested.

The equity release lender also found that just one in five (20%) advisers felt family members only needed to be involved in the process depending on the complexity of the case. The research indicated that just 4% did not believe it was important to involve family at all.

more2life’s findings, based on a study among 234 participants, comes a day after the FCA announced a new consultation on a ‘“consumer duty” to introduce more consistent standards of consumer protection, which more2life said highlights a need to assess and manage vulnerable individuals in the financial services industry.

When asked why some clients would opt not to include their families in the decision-making process, more2life’s research showed that 29% of advisers reported not wanting to worry their families was a key consideration for clients, down from 34% in 2020.

For clients that are understood to be vulnerable, this decreases to only 7%, which the equity release lender suggested demonstrates the effect of the advice sector’s efforts in raising awareness about the benefits of support for vulnerable clients.

“With vulnerability a focus of the FCA, the later life lending industry has stepped up and it is good to see that significant strides have been made in recent years to identify, support and manage vulnerability as part of the advice process,” commented more2life CEO, Dave Harris.
 
“Where possible, families can play a huge role in supporting people as they make choices around housing equity and the role it can play in funding later life. However for some, being open about their finances is more challenging as it would break a habit of a lifetime or they are concerned that their families will worry that they are struggling financially.
 
“Advisers and companies within this arena need to continue to advocate for family involvement and ensure that clients give sufficient consideration to talking to their loved ones about important financial decisions. Collaboration to enable the best practices for identifying and managing vulnerability to become commonplace is vital and is something that as an industry we must all get behind.”

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