87% of advisers plan to ‘re-engage’ with later life market

Air Mortgage Club has issued the final results from its ‘Later Life Lending Census’ of advisers either currently active, or wanting to operate, in the later life market.

Related topics:  Later Life
Rozi Jones
10th November 2021
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"The big question is not only how do they either engage, or re-engage, with a customer base which fits this bill but how we as an industry can support them."

Air highlighted the positive foundations the sector was working from, with 90% of all adviser respondents saying there was a clear and growing need for later life lending, with 85% expecting established demographic drivers to keep the market buoyant over the next two to three years.

Respondents highlighted a number of further key drivers around why they anticipate clients will choose later life lending options in the future, including paying off an existing mortgage (85%), helping family with financial needs (65%), and funding essential spending (64%).

As a result, 87% of advisers suggest they will ‘re-engage’ and become more involved in this market over the next two to three years. For mortgage advisers only, this figure was 92%, while 80% of financial advisers felt the same way.

Advisers said this greater involvement would come via three potential approaches – referring clients to specialists, retraining themselves to provide later life lending services or refocusing efforts to speak to existing clients about these products.

When asked what support was required by advisers to help them engage with this market, 52% said a marketing campaign to support more customer awareness, 47% said innovation in product design, 43% said a wider range of providers offering later life lending products, 29% said focused webinars/seminars to improve knowledge, and 28% said better digital tools.

Stuart Wilson, CEO at Air Group, commented: “It’s clear from these Census results that many advisers – including the vast majority who are not yet involved in the later life sector – believe this is a market ripe for growth. With the underlying fundamentals, including demographics and a growing need to access housing equity, likely to fuel the need for lending up to, and into, retirement.

“The big question is not only how do they either engage, or re-engage, with a customer base which fits this bill but how we as an industry can support them. There are, of course, a number of options and we are clearly a sector which needs both a greater number of active later life lending advisers and an increase in the number who are willing to refer onto specialists.

“To enable this, we need to provide the support they need and present the options and opportunities available to them to do this. We also need to ensure those advisers who might have ‘dis-engaged’ are able to access all the tools available to allow them to get in touch with customers, and be comfortable with the advice services they are delivering.

“Clearly, advisers want the industry as whole to continue educating and informing consumers about the later life lending options available to them, but also the importance of securing advice, where to find that advice, and what range of solutions they should be able to access.

“Again, this comes back to consumer education but it’s also about highlighting how they can easily access advice and that it is not a narrow, one product only option, but that it covers the entire range of holistic later life lending solutions. There is clearly much work to do here, but as mentioned, there is a core strength to what we currently have, and there is a real and growing demand that is only likely to increase in the years ahead.

“We must, as an industry, now put ourselves in the best possible position to help these customers, and the advisers who deal with them. This is a pivotal decision point for all stakeholders – we can either make a concerted effort to break down these barriers by rebranding, re-educating and re-engaging, or accept that we are content to remain a niche sector. I know the decision I believe we need to make, and it’s not the latter.”

 

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