"Having supported the Equity Release Council in an advisory capacity for the best part of a decade, we are delighted to now formally join."
EY offers services in assurance, consulting, tax, and strategy and transactions to clients, including financial services product providers.
With the addition of EY, the Council now represents almost 1,700 individual members and 700 corporate members, a near doubling of both categories in the last four years.
Rising participation mirrors the increase in customer numbers as people look to equity release products to meet diverse consumer needs in later life, from financial planning and intergenerational gifting to debt consolidation.
In 2021, the market enabled more than 75,000 customers to access over £4.8billion of property wealth via new or existing equity release plans. This exceeded the previous annual record of £3.92bn, set in 2019 before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first three months of 2022 saw 23,395 new and returning customers withdrawing over £1.5bn of wealth from their homes. This puts the market on track to support more than 100,000 customers this year for the first time on record, based on pre-pandemic trends.
Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome EY to the Council as we celebrate our 30th anniversary year. EY’s support for the Council, which builds on an already strong working relationship, provides a strong indication of the importance of our standards-setting work.
“In recent years the modern equity release market has seen significant growth in innovation, choice and flexibility in addition to the strong foundation of Council-led consumer protections in place since 1991.
“The market’s continued growth can help to address many of the UK’s most pressing domestic social and policy challenges. We are committed to working with members to embed the highest standards of consumer protection today and ensure our standards keep evolving to meet customers’ changing needs.
Ben Grainger, director of EMEIA insurance at EY, said: “Having supported the Equity Release Council in an advisory capacity for the best part of a decade, we are delighted to now formally join.
“We look forward to playing an official role in the Council and will continue to support the equity release industry as it grows and innovates.”