New guide launched to help you compare equity release costs
Unlocking property wealth is increasingly popular, but it’s important to understand the potential fees and charges
The Equity Release Council has published a guide to help consumers better understand and compare fees and charges across different equity release products.
It said the guide sets out a consistent way of describing fees and charges using clear, simple and standardised language that is easy to understand.
Its content has been informed by a working group made up of Council members including advisers, providers and legal experts.
All equity release firms are being encouraged to adopt the language outlined in the guide when describing fees and charges, to make it easier for consumers to compare products and their associated costs.
Jim Boyd, CEO at the Equity Release Council, said: “When people take out any new financial services product such as equity release, they often face a few unfamiliar terms and definitions. Each firm often uses slightly different language which makes it harder for consumers to quickly identify how product fees differ and can be challenging when comparing costs.
“The Council’s guidance describes all the fees and charges that could be relevant to an equity release application, depending on its complexity. Our aim is to establish a set of standard definitions to help consumers to understand their options as they explore the equity release process with a regulated adviser.
“We understand adopting changes takes time, but the arrival of the Consumer Duty is a chance for industry to take stock and move towards a standardised approach. We hope all firms will take this guidance on board when they next revisit their approach, so it becomes the standard across the equity release market.”
The guide will be available to consumers via www.equityreleasecouncil.com/consumers