Welcome to the Autumn Newsletter 2020
I very much hope you are all well and safe.
As England enters its second lockdown and our devolved nations face restrictions, sadly the pandemic is far from over. However, we should take heart that the industry has demonstrated its resilience and adaptability when responding to the challenges caused by this dreadful disease.
This has been reflected in the industry’s recent Q3 market statistics, which reveal how the market has adjusted positively to the challenges of operating safely in a pandemic.
These show a steady return to something closer to normal activity over the summer after the market weathered the initial impact of Covid-19. The strong climb back towards pre-Covid levels, was in part due to a mix of new enquiries and delayed cases from earlier in the year. Although property wealth unlocked by new or returning customers in this quarter was down 3% from the similar period in 2019, given the current circumstances, I think this should be viewed positively.
Even though we still face a challenging environment, as an industry we are now better prepared to support customers who wish to choose the option of equity release. The temporary modifications the Council devised to enable lawyers to provide remote advice, remain in place, while the Government has already announced that the housing market will remain open.
The Council continues to work hard to find opportunities to support your businesses and is actively communicating on your behalf to Government and regulators including the Bank of England. We continually seek to find ways to add value to our members and I am delighted to announce that we have recruited a highly experienced public affairs manager, Simon Posner, to support our communication with our important political stakeholders. You can read more about him here and you will receive information from Simon shortly about how best to engage with your local Members of Parliament.
In addition we will soon announce the appointment of a new business development and member services manager and the recruitment process for the two-person risk, policy and compliance team is ongoing. It is our intention that these important hires will help us to find ways to provide more value to our members as we continue to bring expertise in house to support the safe growth of our sector.
I would also ask you to attend our Annual General Meeting on 18 November. I urge you to register for the online event because it will also be one of the first opportunities for members to hear of our ambitious plans for 2021 together with the various initiatives, we have planned for Q4 2020. I will be writing to you about these in the coming week.
Elsewhere in the newsletter you can read views on the pros and cons of gilt linked early repayment charges, in an article kindly sponsored by Pure Retirement. And anyone looking to get their lockdown fitness regimes on track, can take inspiration from Canada Life’s Les Pick, who took part in our Week in the Life feature.
Other highlights include: details of an opportunity for the sector to step up and take part in the Government’s Kickstart work placement scheme; insight on Key’s latest report into vulnerability; and a feature on lead generation which makes for essential reading.
Again, to reaffirm our belief that the strong drivers underpinning our sector will support the continued growth of our socially important market and continue to meet our customers’ needs.
Thank you for reading,
Chief Executive Officer