Which equity release providers are considered the best by advisers?

Air Group publishes its latest Temperature Check report

Which equity release providers are considered the best by advisers?

Canada Life is still considered by advisers as the best service provider in the equity release market, according to later life services platform Air.

In its latest H1 2022 Temperature Check report released on Wednesday, Air named the top performers on several key service measures for equity release providers, as rated by over 250 advisers.

Canada Life (8.35) placed first in overall service and ranked top in all categories, enabling it to build on its previous lead on other equity release providers. It was followed by Pure Retirement (7.83), and Legal & General (7.77).

Canada Life (79.59%) also came out top in the Net Promoter Score category, followed by Pure Retirement (75.64%), and Legal & General (73.33%).  

While Canada Life has maintained a notable lead across all categories, the fifth iteration of the Temperature Check noted some changes across the categories with Pure Retirement in particular moving up into the top rankings. Standard Life Home Finance, which has been operating for under 12 months, made its first appearance in the report and managed to snap a top three position in the ‘goes the extra mile’ category.

In this iteration, Air has also included adviser views on legal firms that operate within the sector.

For overall service, Boyd Legal topped the rankings, scoring 7.77 out of 10. It was followed by Gilroy Steel (7.03) and Equilaw (6.68). Boyd Legal again came out on top in the communication and response time categories, while Equilaw topped the category for online service.

“The fifth iteration of the Temperature Check arrives in the aftermath of a challenging economic period,” Stuart Wilson (pictured), chief executive at Air, commented. “It is therefore heartening to see that many providers have risen to the occasion across several key adviser-focused services.

“That said, there is always room for improvement, as well as the need to fight to maintain service levels at the top of the table – especially in light of current volumes which suggest that 2022 will be a record year.

Read more: Equity release hits new high in Q2 2022.  

“For the first time, we invited advisers to share feedback on service provided by legal firms operating within the sector. In providing not only conveyancing services but also independent legal advice, these firms are a vital cog in the later life lending machine, and it only felt natural to incorporate this assessment in our report.”

Wilson lauded the providers who ranked in the top three positions, adding that throughout the industry, average performance has been improving.

“It’s undeniable that lenders are weathering the storm of shifting regulations and government restrictions to provide a slick and engaging service,” he said. “However, a few providers have slipped slightly in a few of the performance categories, which may prompt some to consider how they use the feedback they have received to their best advantage.

“Our mission is to ensure every word of feedback is taken on board and channelled into making decisive improvements to elevate the experiences of advisers and ultimately customers.”

The equity release providers whose service levels were reviewed as part of the Temperature Check were Aviva, Canada Life, Legal & General, LV=, Just, One Family, more2life, Pure Retirement, and Standard Life Home Finance. Air said it engages with each lender to provide feedback on the analysis, and to ensure the collective voice of the smaller advisers who use its services are heard.