Protecting the interests of equity release clients
Equity Release Council
Hodge Lifetime is a founder member of the equity release industry’s trade body.
Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) was launched in 1991 in direct response to the growing need for consumer protection and represented the majority of equity release providers of lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans.
In May 2012, SHIP was re-launched as the Equity Release Council (the 'Council'), broadening its membership to incorporate all aspects of equity release advice and product provision. As well as providers, the new body will represent financial advisers, solicitors, surveyors and other interested parties working in the equity release industry.
The SHIP Code of Conduct has been incorporated into the Council, which includes the following safeguards:
- You have the right to remain in your property for life
- Information we present about our plans must be fair, simple and complete
- You have the right to transfer the equity release plan if you move to another eligible property
- In addition to the financial advice you receive, you appoint your own independent solicitor to act for you
- Your solicitor will sign a certificate to confirm that all the risks and benefits of the plan have been explained to you and that you have understood them
- You will benefit from the No Negative Equity Guarantee – you will never owe more than the value of your home.
Financial Conduct Authority
The equity release industry is regulated. This means that:
- Your financial adviser must be authorised and qualified to advise you on these plans;
- We must present our illustrations in a set format, which means that they are comparable with those of our competitors.