KRS expands equity release referral service

Launched two months ago, the equity release referral service has already registered almost 200 firms. By the end of the year, Key Retirement Solutions believes that 400 to 500 firms will have registered to use the service. In order to cope with the new work, its website has been relaunched to make it easier for firms to register. Extra staff have also been employed to work solely on the referrals.

A full-time business development manager (BDM) for the South of the UK has been hired to help companies generate referrals and spot opportunities for further equity release business. There are plans to add a further BDM for the North in the next few months to come.

Dean Mirfin, business development director for Key Retirement Solutions, said the growth indicated that the equity release market was gaining in popularity and that brokers needed to keep a close eye on service quality. He said: “There are very few other services like this and a crucial aspect of ours is that a lot of time is spent on checking how referrals are handled and the feedback we give intermediaries. The growth shows no signs of letting up and this service will help stop the stifling of consumer demand.

“It’s important for brokers to look at the quality of the service. If a broker is in partnership with the wrong firm, they can end up with no idea where the referral is going or the quality of service that’s being offered to their client. We believe our service is second to none.”

Jan Holt, head of sales for lifetime mortgages at the Prudential, said: “These types of services are very helpful in the market and we do advise IFAs who aren’t authorised to use them. We’re very keen that advisers take advantage of these services to access the equity release market, as the end result is that the customers needs are being met.”