L&G Home Finance CEO responds to Great Expectations report

Craig Brown, CEO of Legal & General Home Finance, responds to the independent report Later Life Lending: Great Expectations, which was commissioned by the Council.

Craig said: “This report highlights the key challenges that older people face today, including inheritance, divorce and increasing concerns around the energy efficiency of properties. The home remains one of the most significant assets that many people have and property wealth can play a huge role in helping homeowners tackle these later life concerns. We welcome the recommendations, particularly about the need to challenge people’s understanding of the role property wealth can play in financial planning.

“As an industry, we need to challenge misconceptions around the use of property wealth, particularly when it comes to intergenerational gifting, which is already a popular use of equity release. With people passing on traditional inheritances later, and with young people needing additional financial support and help onto the housing ladder, we anticipate more people turning to their property wealth to provide a ‘living inheritance’.

“We have also seen home owners use equity from their property for vital home renovations, particularly energy efficiency improvements, such as replacing a boiler or installing insulation, which can increase the longevity of the property, as well as making it more comfortable to live in. Legal & General’s Equity Economy research, carried out last year, found that 13% of those surveyed had accessed property wealth to finance energy efficiency improvements, with insulation ranking as the most popular improvement in this group.

“Legal & General is committed to innovating and championing choice, looking at ways that our products can change to reflect direct adviser feedback and the needs of customers. Lifetime mortgages continue to be an effective financial solution and, although they won’t be suitable for everyone, they should be discussed and considered as part of a holistic approach to later life. Consumer Duty regulations should encourage advisers to consider a wider range of solutions to meet individual needs.”

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