Background to the Equity Release Council
A consumer centric trade body focused on key themes of
- representative lobbying,
- leading and setting high standards for consumers and
- awareness “thought leadership” of how housing wealth can help many financial challenges
Over the course of 25 years, the Equity Release Council continues to represent the equity release sector and exists to promote high standards of conduct and practice in the provision of and advice on equity release. which have consumer safeguards at its heart.
These standards and safeguards have allowed the sector to grow, giving financial advisers and their customers confidence in the products, dispelling myths about equity release, and educating the public about the potential to access the wealth in their home for a variety of uses.
The reputation and standing of the brand and the trust developed has seen its membership grow, bringing the sector together and helping it strengthen its voice: providers of equity release plans, solicitors, intermediaries, financial advisers, consultants, surveyors and other industry professionals - all committed to the Principles of membership. The Council builds on this unified voice of its members, while remaining independent from the specific views of individual member firms or particular segments of the equity release market.
Today we are looking at a flourishing sector which has served over 400,000 consumers, loaned more than £20bn since 1994 and enjoys exceptional customer satisfaction rates. Importantly, 2017 saw a record year for both the industry and growth in Council membership. This indicates a sustained new period of growth for the sector and strong interest continues from the media and consumers, underlined by a number of large household names in the financial services sector moving into the market.
On another key angle
The Council works to secure widespread awareness of the role housing equity can play in later life, whether that be funding of care, support family members, or simply to achieve lifestyle enrichment, and peace of mind. The equity release sector has provided politicians and policy makers with many pragmatic solutions to a range of socioeconomic issues.
The future of the later life lending market looks ever more promising and with that comes more innovation, more choice for consumers and more opportunity for professionals to help those people unlock the wealth tied up in their homes. The Council welcomes new applications from those aiming to drive that development of a healthy, successful industry.
We are supported by a framework of contributors to our work primarily drawn from the membership who have in-depth knowledge and experience of this sector and of the wider socio economic environment.
In July 2018 The Council appointed its first CEO:
Jim Boyd, Chief Executive of the Equity Release Council
Jim was appointed CEO of the Equity Release Council in June 2018. He joined from Reform think tank, where he was Deputy Director and Head of Research. Prior to this he was an Expert Adviser at the Department for Work and Pensions, initially supporting Lord Freud, then Welfare Reform Minister.
Jim has extensive experience of retirement and social care funding having led the Corporate Affairs functions at specialist life assurers Britannic Retirement Solutions, Just Retirement and Partnership Assurance.
He is an adviser to the Intergenerational Longevity Commission-UK, a leading longevity, ageing and population change policy unit. Jim is a former tax and trusts lawyer.
Please follow the links on the right-hand side to find out more about our structure of Boards, committees and working groups.
Main Board of Directors
Subject to a set of Articles of Association, the directors appointed to the Main Board of the Equity Release Council are responsible for the management of the Council’s business. Currently there are nine members elected from within the membership by the membership on a cycle of two year terms of office, and there are four directors that have been appointed by those elected to serve to oversee the running of the Council, which include the Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer, the Standards Board Chairman and the Chief Operating Officer.