New provider, Just Retirement, has announced its launch into the equity release market with a range of products and support services for IFAs.
As part of its entry into the market the provider has designed a training package in partnership with the Chartered Insurance Institute to help advisers obtain CF7 examinations and a series of roadshows with the Personal Finance Society.
Just Retirement is offering a flexible product enabling the policyholder to drawdown income in stages with a fixed interest rate for each drawdown amount in a similar fashion to Prudential’s lifetime mortgage range.
Andrew Megson, sales director at Just Retirement, says: "Just Retirement believes that clients should not have to pay more for draw down. We want to encourage people to only take what they want when they need it, and as such offer a low interest rate for straight cash release and draw down."
The Equity Release Plan is also different to those of its few competitors, claims Just Retirement, because it offers loan to values from 25% to 42% as ell as the ability to draw down modest initial cash advances as low as £10,000 and further cash advances as low as £2,000.
The training package on offer consists of a pilot scheme with 400 IFAs to ensure that they are trained and qualified in equity release CF7 exams. Sponsorship of 15 Personal Finance Society Roadshows in November and December focusing exclusively on equity release.
Mike Fuller, chief executive of Just Retirement says: "The FSA is working to ensure that firms treat customers fairly, highlighting weaknesses in providers who ignore whether IFAs have adequate knowledge of the product and the market. Many providers also fail to offer adequate support to handle technical or servicing enquiries on their products. Just Retirement believes that this approach is wrong and will do everything it can to support IFAs.
"Additionally the equity release market has been characterised by products which release large cash sums and charge relatively high rates of interest. These sums are often in excess of the immediate needs of clients, requiring them to invest surplus cash in investments, which often yield less than the rate of interest at which the loan is accumulating or involve inappropriate risks. We believe this is wrong for many clients and will continue to work through product innovation and our partnership with IFAs to deliver a range of fairer solutions for the client."
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