Connect for Intermediaries launches equity release lending panel and whole of market life panel


Liz Syms

Connect for Intermediaries has launched a new equity release lending panel and a new whole of market life panel as part of a series of exciting changes to its proposition.

CEO Liz Syms, pictured, announced the seven lender equity release panel at the Connect 20th Anniversary Conference last month, where she also revealed a whole of market life panel, enhanced partnerships with tech partners and a reduction in targets for improved commission splits.

The new equity release lender panel comprises of Aviva, Hodge, Legal and General, LV=, More2Life, Pure Retirement and Retirement Advantage. It will be available directly to brokers who have gained the relevant qualification, and on a referral basis for those brokers without. There will also be an equity release course available for all Connect network members.

Syms says the new equity release panel compliments Connect’s current later life lenders like Shawbrook and Family Building Society, offering brokers a full solution to their more mature clients.

She said: “Ten or fifteen years ago, equity release was a fairly niche product – now, it is one of the fastest growing products in the lending market. And as lifestyles change and ‘over 55’ becomes ever younger, equity release has enormous potential for adding real value, not only to the mortgage market but also our economy and society as a whole.

“But equity release is not just about standalone equity release, there are lots of lenders who have a later-life offering as well. Now, with our later life and equity release lenders, we feel we’ve got an offering that enables our advisers to look at all of those options and make the right recommendation for their clients.”

The new life panel will be advised for those brokers who can demonstrate life sales experience and come on an upgrade course. It will also be opened up on a non-advised basis for brokers who have already attended the course and are signed up for non-advised single tie – they will simply need to request access.

Syms also revealed that Connect wanted to encourage brokers to “reach for higher volumes”, so has drastically reduced targets for improved commission splits.

Syms said: “We have been listening to brokers and taking their feedback on board in order to improve our proposition. The new equity release panel and life panel, plus the secured lending panel announced last month will offer brokers more options for their clients, while the new commission splits offer a great incentive for them to push for more business.”

All brokers in the Connect network already get full access to the criteria search database Knowledge Bank and mortgage processing platform, One Mortgage System (OMS). Connect can now announce enhanced partnerships with both, including Knowledge Bank discounts for those who use Connect’s packaging services and discounts for brokers who want to offer OMS as a portal to their clients.

Syms concludes: “All these changes have been designed to offer practical help for everyone we work with so they can develop and grow their businesses. And there are plenty more exciting changes to come, so watch this space!”