Saga Joins the Equity Release Council
29 May 2014
The Equity Release Council (The Council) is pleased to announce that Saga, the leading over-50s insurer and holidays firm, has become its newest member.
Saga provides a range of products and services to 2.1 million customers over the age of 50, including the Saga Equity Release Advice Service (provided by Just Retirement Solutions Limited). The service arms consumers with specialist advice about equity release to help them decide whether it is right for them and choose a product that suits their needs.
Customers who use the service are able to choose from products offered by a range of provider members of The Council which each come with industry-standard protections and guarantees.
As a member of The Council, Saga guarantees its customers that it offers products and services which conform to the best practices of the sector, allowing over-55s to take out equity release plans in complete confidence.
Saga’s membership brings the total number of Council members past 320, as the trade body attracts an increasingly broad range of organisations operating across the entire sector. The industry recently experienced record lending figures for Q1 2014, when the total value of new equity release plans agreed hit £315.5m. This was 35% up on the equivalent period in 2013 and the largest total for the first three months of any year since quarterly records began in 2002.
Nigel Waterson, chairman of the Equity Release Council, commented:
“We are thrilled to have Saga on board as members of The Council. Its commitment towards financial education of the over-50s is very much aligned with our own practices, and we look forward to a successful and productive partnership.
“Our members’ work helps to ensure that modern equity release products are safe, secure and offer increasing flexibility for those wishing to improve their finances in later life. Improving awareness and understanding of equity release is at the heart of our agenda for 2014, and we look forward to welcoming more members as the sector continues to grow and develop.”
Jeff Bromage, chief operating officer, Saga Personal Finance, commented:
“We have consistently delivered excellent products and services and our work with the Equity Release Council shows that we are confident that our customers are receiving the best possible standard of advice and protection. Helping people to make informed and safe decisions has always been the focus of our Equity Release Advice Service, so we are pleased to be able to offer our customers the extra mark of quality that comes through our membership of The Equity Release Council.
“As our population ages and the over-50 population increases, we have seen a growing need for a diverse range of financial solutions in retirement. Housing wealth is often people’s biggest asset, so it makes sense to be able to draw on this as part of financial planning in later life. The equity release sector experienced a landmark year in 2013 and we expect it to continue to grow as more people seek practical options to fund their retirement.”