Legal & General: Adapting to the lockdown

Legal & General Home Finance CEO and newly elected Council board member Claire Singleton sets out some of the recent changes at her firm.

[This article was first published in the Council’s April 2020 newsletter]

Since the Government began introducing lockdown measures, we’ve adapted to ensure that our services remain intact. While this is a testing time for everyone, we’re very much open for business and committed to helping our customers and partners.

In keeping with the Government’s guidance on social distancing and safe working practices, we’ve implemented a full desktop valuation process for all of our lifetime mortgage products. This will enable property valuations to take place without a physical visit, by allowing independent valuers to use publicly available information to assess clients’ homes.

We’ve also made changes elsewhere to help those in financial difficulty. We’re letting Optional Payment Lifetime Mortgage (OPLM) customers miss up to three monthly interest payments, without these counting towards the six missed payments allowed in the product terms. All OPLM customers remain able to stop making monthly interest payments at any time and convert to interest roll-up.

To help guide the adviser community through this difficult period, we have launched a new webinar series: LGRR: In Conservation with…, in which we provide updates on our services, offer advice and share challenges with our adviser clients. These are streamed live and available ‘on demand’ afterwards. Each edition features a guest, who speaks about a topic in-depth: recent examples include navigating market volatility, accessing the Government’s financial support and running an advice business remotely. Registrations can be made via our Adviser Academy hub for each upcoming webinar.

We’ve also launched our online equity release study portal, which features content delivered by a CII-accredited tutor. The free to access service is designed to help aspiring equity release advisers secure the CII Certificate in Equity Release qualification or equivalent, at a time that works for them. As equity release is a growing area of advice, we want to support as many advisers coming into the market as possible.

By adapting our services and recognising that all of our partners and customers are facing extraordinary – and challenging – circumstances, we hope to minimise disruption and help as much as we can.

Please note the views of our contributors are theirs and not necessarily those of the Council.

For details of the Council’s Covid-19 responses CLICK HERE and for links to responses from all our provider members and other useful resources CLICK HERE.