New equity release guidelines announced

New measures designed to protect people who take up an equity release plan on their home have been unveiled.

Safe Home Income Plans (Ship) has made a change to its code of conduct meaning that any solicitor working on an equity release case must sign a certificate asserting their independence from the lender.

They must also confirm that they have not received any payment from the intermediary during the transaction.

Director general Andrea Rozario stated: “The Ship certificate makes it clear that there is to be no remuneration between advisers and solicitors.”

It is hoped that the move will reassure those taking on an equity release agreement that firms are reputable.

Consumer watchdog Which? recently claimed that equity release should be used as a last resort by pensioners struggling to handle finances.

However, this view was criticised by a number of organisations, including Ship and Saga Personal Finance.

By Jamie Price

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