Safe Home Income Providers (SHIP) will relaunch as the Equity Release Council later this month.
The relaunch will broaden the trade body's membership to advisers, lawyers, surveyors and other interested parties.
All aspects of equity release advice and product provision will be covered by the council, which will work with new members to develop a code of conduct complementing the consumer guarantees that existing members offer customers.
The Council has also improved accessibility by developing a new website (www.equityreleasecouncil.com), where consumers can identify advisers, providers, solicitors and organisations who abide by the Council standards.
The Council will be headed by the chairman, Nigel Waterson who will oversee the direction of the organisation and the director-general, Andrea Rozario who will take responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Council.
Waterson, said: "This is a really significant day for thousands of older people in the UK. After an extensive engagement process, equity release now has a trade body which represents the entire sector - the Equity Release Council.
Rozario (pictured) added: “With housing equity likely to be at the heart of many peoples retirement planning now and in the future, it is vital that as an industry, we adapt to meet consumer needs.
Chris Pond, chair of the Equity Release Council’s Standards Board will determine the principles that Council members must adhere to. This will be done via The Council’s Technical Committees who will be responsible for engaging with members.
Pond said: “It's important that all those engaged in equity release sign up to a code of conduct that meets consumer needs. The Council will fulfil a vital role in building on the work of SHIP by extending that commitment throughout the industry".
Claire Barker, chairman of Equity Release Solicitors’ Alliance (ERSA) said the relaunch will give the industry a higher profile with key political and regulatory figures.
Barker said: "It will also ensure the role equity release can play is recognised at the highest level.
"From a consumer perspective the Council will provide people with greater confidence and awareness of what is clearly a credible and mature industry. A separate Standards Board will only enhance this and work has already begun with the formation of a Fraud Working Party."
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