L&G entry to Equity Release market welcomed
With 2015 opening to regular media reports of the expected growth in the Equity Release market it’s perhaps no surprise that Legal & General is to enter the Equity Release market through its acquisition of Newlife.
‘It’s great to read that Legal & General will be working in the Equity Release market’ commented Richard Espley, Head of Equity Release at Goldsmith Williams. ‘Newlife is an established member of the Equity Release Council and we hope that, as Legal & General move forward with their equity release business they continue to embrace both the spirit and the letter of the Council’s code, rules and guidance with respect to legal representation.
Indeed, the Equity Release Council’s Code of Conduct and Rules and Guidance require that all equity release transactions have separate legal representation for the borrower and the lender and the client’s legal work should always be performed by a solicitor of their choice.
In 2014 the Council rules introduced further safeguards, directing that every equity release customer is seen face to face by a suitably qualified lawyer at least once during their transaction to ensure they have sufficient mental capacity to enter into an equity release contract and that they have not been subject to undue influence or duress. Recognising how important this is, in my firm we’ve developed a unique Home Visit service where all of our clients meet with a lawyer in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.
The Equity Release industry has worked hard over the last few years to create a safe environment for consumers to access equity from their property and so it’s good to see a company with the stature of Legal & General becoming part of the growing market.’
Content correct at time of publication