Former Conservative MP and chairman of the Equity Release Council Nigel Waterson said one of the biggest barriers to equity release in the UK was a lack of qualified and experienced advisers.
Speaking at the Sifa conference last week, Waterson (pictured), who was shadow pensions minister from 2005 to 2010, said: ‘We estimate 9,000 or 10,000 advisers have an equity release qualification but don’t actually do equity release.
‘People like this ought to be thinking about equity release on a regular basis,’ he said. ‘It is complicated, but ultimately profitable too. We need to have a sufficient number of advisers who have the qualification but also have sufficient experience.
‘This is why the intermediary market in equity release is dominated by two large firms wholly focused on this particular set of products. But there is plenty of room for new advisers to get stuck in.’
Of the delegates attending the conference, 46% said they were sure they held a qualification to advise on equity release. However, only 17% said they regularly practiced equity release.