Equity release product standard update

All equity release plans sold to new customers from 28 March 2022 must feature penalty-free partial loan repayments, enabling customers to reduce their loan size and save money on interest.

The new standard introduced by the Equity Release Council (ERC) could save customers millions of pounds. While ERC standards aren’t legally binding, almost 700 firms selling equity release products have promised to abide by them.

Other standards include the obligation to either offer fixed interest rates or capped variable rates, the right to remain in the property for life, and a ‘no negative equity guarantee.’

Chairman of the Equity Release Council David Burrowes spoke about the recent changes, “Updating our standards to lock down the ability to make partial repayments on lifetime mortgages – an innovative feature that has become increasingly common in recent years – provides flexibility for consumers and ensures the sector continues to evolve to meet changing demographic needs.”

As a mortgage is secured against your home or property, it could be repossessed if you do not keep up mortgage repayments. Equity release may require a lifetime mortgage or a home reversion plan. To understand the features and risks, ask for a personalised illustration.