If you’ve read all the information about equity release, you may feel quite clued up on it. But just in case you’re feeling a little unsure, you really don’t need to be. And this is why.
The industry body, the Equity Release Council, sets standards and safeguards that serve to protect your financial future. You can read more about the Equity Release Council below.
And to add another layer of accountability, all our advisers at Bower are specialists in retirement lending. They have undergone intensive training in equity release planning and are specifically qualified in this field. They have all been chosen for their expertise and extensive experience in the industry, in addition to passing our own tough suitability and training process.
The Equity Release Council
Bower is a member of The Equity Release Council (ERC), the industry body for the equity release sector.
To help protect consumers, the Council sets certain standards and insists on a code of conduct for both providers and advisers to abide by. The lenders also have to provide certain safeguards to give you peace of mind (see ‘The Equity Release Council guarantees’).
As members of the Council, we abide by the safeguards and code of conduct they have in place for advisers, which means we conform to the best practices within the sector.
Statement of Principles (formerly Code of Conduct)
All Council members have to abide by a set of principles to ensure the highest standards of conduct when giving equity release advice.
These principles demand that:
- Members will exercise due skill, care and diligence in all that they do and uphold the standards set out by their professional bodies at all times
- Members must always act with the best interests of their clients being paramount, treating customers fairly in all their actions.
- Members have to comply with the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA’s) rules governing the sale of equity release products, including the requirement that all customers who buy equity release plans are fully advised by a qualified adviser.
Read the full list of principles on the Equity Release Council’s website.
Equity Release Council guarantees
These guarantees work for your best interests and include the following promises:
- No Negative Equity Guarantee — you or your family will never owe more than the value of your home
- You will not lose your home and can remain there for as long as you wish providing it remains your main residence
- For lifetime mortgages, interest rates must be fixed or, if they are variable, there must be a “cap” (upper limit) which is fixed for the life of the loan
- You can move to another suitable property subject to the new property being acceptable to your product provider
- You will receive independent legal advice from a solicitor of your choice
This is a lifetime mortgage or home reversion plan. To understand the full features and risks, please ask us for a personalised illustration.
Bower provides independent, impartial whole of market advice with an award winning customer service experience. Initial advice is free and without any obligation, only if you choose to proceed and your plan completes, would a typical advice and administration fee of £1,495 be payable.
To find out more about any of the Bower products and services mentioned here, please call us on freephone 0800 411 8668, request a call back, email us, or join in our live chats you’ll find on our website.
If you are considering equity release, we strongly recommend that you read our ‘Advantages and disadvantages of Equity Release’ page carefully and talk to one of our specialists before deciding if you wish to proceed.