"Our new member endorsement mark provides a sign of quality, professionalism and trust, by demonstrating to potential customers that members are committed to best practice"
The Equity Release Council has launched a member endorsement mark as part of a brand refresh.
The endorsement mark provides a badge of trust for potential and existing customers to look for, reflecting the security which the Council’s standards provide. It will act as a recognisable statement of quality that offers confidence and reassurance for consumers by embodying members’ commitment to quality and professionalism in the products and services they offer.
Members can use the new endorsement mark immediately, and the Council is encouraging them to adopt it as soon as practical, with a grace period which runs throughout 2021 during which time members are permitted to use the previous logo.
This year represents 30 years since the Council’s predecessor, Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), established the first consumer-focused standards for equity release products and advice, bringing voluntary regulation to the market in 1991 ahead of the Mortgage Code’s introduction in 1997.
The new endorsement mark has been launched to members as part of a brand refresh which the Council has adopted to better represent the modern equity release market.
This evolution forms part of a strategic programme of activity underway, including the appointment of a Risk, Policy and Compliance team to oversee the continuing revision and evolution of consumer-focused product and advice standards.
The Council also launched a new Competency Framework for advisers last month.
Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council commented: “Over the course of 30 years of setting consumer-focused standards, the equity release market has been transformed to become part of mainstream conversations about funding later life.
"Today’s product range offers flexible finance to older homeowners, backed by robust safeguards and protections. At a time when people are living longer lives and have an unprecedented choice of options to release equity at affordable rates, our new member endorsement mark provides a sign of quality, professionalism and trust, by demonstrating to potential customers that members are committed to best practice in the products and services they offer.”