Advisers fail Which? equity release test

”Advisers

Which? has been investigating equity release advisers only to find that two-thirds failed to pass benchmarks for good advice.

Researchers working for the consumer group visited 40 advisers, 12 of whom specialised in equity release.

A disappointing five from this group passed the Which? test, compared with eight of the 28 independent financial advisers surveyed.

Overall, 23 advisers failed to complete a fact-find and seven failed even to ask about income.

The subject of compound interest was shirked by a number of advisers, along with the expected growth of an equity release debt.

Thirteen advisers only made mention of fees at a late stage and five made no mention whatsoever.

Which? editor, Martyn Hocking, says the investigation has uncovered some major flaws in the equity release advice process and says he would like to see matters tightened up.

Last autumn, Which? warned pensioners that using equity release as a quick-fix for financial pressures in retirement can be dangerous, describing some products on the market as expensive, inflexible and likely to leave people with little or no equity in their homes.

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