Equity Release Council launches Funders Forum

The Equity Release Council has created a Funders Forum, an expert committee made up of later life funders and product providers.

The Forum will provide specialist advice on trends and policy implications for the funding of later life lending products as consumer appetite grows.

Its launch follows three high-profile funders joining the Council’s membership: Phoenix Group, Pension Insurance Corporation and Reinsurance Group of America. They will sit on the Forum alongside Aviva, Legal & General, Just Group, Canada Life, Liverpool Victoria, Hodge, M&G, Scottish Widows and Rothesay Life. All funders and providers who are Council members are eligible to join.

The Forum is chaired by Scott Robertson, Head of Phoenix Equity Release, and will report to the Council’s main Board on opportunities and issues impacting the funder community.

Its work will guide the Council’s efforts to support the market’s growth and ensure its standards remain fit-for-purpose to safeguard consumers. It will also inform the Council’s responses to prudential regulatory developments and consultations that impact later life lending.

The creation of the Forum is indicative of the long-term growth of equity release and later life lending sector to meet consumer demand. The last 18 months alone have seen equity release product options increase by 88%, driven by existing and new providers¹.

Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, commented:

“The UK’s ageing population offers significant opportunities for funders to provide new product innovations to meet the changing needs of customers over ever longer lives.

“The Forum brings together representatives of major funders with industry-leading technical expertise. It will be crucial in advising the Council as we seek to promote safe and sustainable market growth built on flexible finance and strong consumer protections.”

Scott Robertson, Chair of the Funders Forum and Head of Phoenix Equity Release commented:

“The Forum will provide later life funders with a setting for healthy discussion and debate to anticipate and address market developments. I am grateful for the opportunity to chair this new initiative and look forward to promoting collaboration across the sector. Later Life lending is becoming an increasing part helping customers in their financial planning in retirement  in the UK. The growth of long-term sustainable funding supplies is essential in providing consumers a wide range of products that allow them to manage their retirement.”