Are there any other protections in place for equity release customers?
Equity release customers have the reassurance of other protections and safeguards. In addition to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the following bodies work to protect equity release customers:
Equity Release Council
As the governing body for the industry, the Equity Release Council has a strict code of conduct that all members must abide by. These rules have protected customers for over 30 years, helping to ensure equity release horror stories remain a thing of the past.
The ERC also has a set of standards and equity release guarantees that its members must agree to, which include the ‘no negative equity’ guarantee, so you’ll never owe more than the value of home. Our selected advisers are members of the Equity Release Council and fully support these standards.
Financial Conduct Authority
Anyone offering you advice on equity release, or providing you with an equity release product, must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
In fact, no lender, broker or adviser is able to operate in the UK without authorisation by the FCA. To be successful, firms must demonstrate that they meet a range of requirements, which includes signing up a strict code of conduct and agreeing to the FCA’s stringent standards.
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Should an equity release company go bust and you are therefore unable to claim compensation from them, you may be able to seek help from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The FSCS offers protection specific to equity release customers where their equity release adviser or provider has gone bust, and where they are suffering due to:
- Advice to take out a lifetime mortgage that was unsuitable (for advice given after 31 October 2004)
- Bad advice about home reversion plans (since 6 April 2007)
You can read more in our guide to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and how it might protect equity release customers.