In its recently published review of later life lending, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has raised concerns about the advice that some consumers received when signing up to equity release "lifetime" mortgages.
The FCA also points to growing anecdotal evidence that economic uncertainty created by Coronavirus was generating increased interest in equity release.
Rather than altering the review’s findings, the context of COVID – 19 “reinforces the importance of advice reflecting the needs and circumstances of the individual”.
For anyone concerned about the professional advice they received when signing up to equity release and now feels that this advice may not have been suitable and there may have been better, less costly, alternatives for them, the first step is to make a complaint to the lifetime mortgage adviser or their firm.
If the issue is not resolved, then the complaint can be escalated to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a Government-backed body that settles complaints and disputes between consumers and financial services businesses. FOS has the power to award compensation in appropriate cases. If matters cannot be resolved by the FOS process then the merits of Court action can be considered although strict time limits do apply.
Commenting on the FCA’s equity release review, Peter McKenna, Partner and Head of the Financial Mis-Selling team at TLW Solicitors said:
“Unfortunately the FCA’s findings do not come as a huge surprise. In recent years there has been a large increase in the marketing of equity release products and as the FCA points out, a surge in the use of the products. We have seen a number of examples of people being advised to take out an equity release mortgage where there were much better options available to them and the advice given was totally inappropriate.”
Working on a ‘no-win-no-fee basis’, TLW’s experienced team can help you through the FOS complaints process. Our clients are reassured by our knowledge and experience of FOS procedures and, indeed, we have had FOS claims successfully upheld for clients whose claims had previously been refused on purely technical grounds.
If you are concerned about your, a friend or loved one’s equity release mortgage, please get in touch with TLW Solicitors by calling 0800 169 5925, emailing email@example.com or complete the call back form.
Time limits can apply and so anyone wishing to bring a claim should do so without delay.
Meet Peter, Peter is a TLW Partner and Director of the Financial Mis-Selling team.
Peter is on hand to give you the best advice.
“Poor quality advice in this market is unacceptable and is likely to create significant harm for customers who may be vulnerable.”