Age Partnership

Age Partnership has grown to become the largest independent equity release advisory firm in the UK. According to data from Touchstone, in 2020 we remained the UK’s largest equity release advisor, holding a consistent YOY market share of 24.4% based on the volume of completed cases. It is testament to the high level of advice and service provided by all Age Partnership colleagues that we have continued to grow our customer base year on year and have become clear market leaders in this field.

We remain committed to developing the equity release sector. This has never been more evident than during the challenging times over the last 16 months with the ongoing political and economic uncertainty, a consequence of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is where we led the charge devising solutions to three main issues that were causing a bottleneck to all equity release applications;

  1. Solicitors not able to carry out their face-to-face appointments to verify a client’s identity.
  2. Lenders not able to access property valuations.
  3. Face-to-face advisors not able to visit properties.

To address the first issue, we brought together representatives from our panel of solicitors alongside a figurehead from the Equity Release Council to share knowledge and devise a solution for a workaround. As a result of these consultations a proposal was put forward to the Law Society and an agreement reached.

As the largest whole-of-market broker, we knew that knowledge sharing was the best approach for finding a solution to the second issue. As we had contact with all equity release lenders, we were best placed to lead this discussion and lenders were collectively able to devise the approach for desktop valuations of properties.

In order to combat the third issue, all employees became homeworkers overnight, including our field based equity release advisors. Our IT team were able to facilitate 500 colleagues working remotely on shared systems – all within 24-hours. Developing a video advice presentation proposition gave advisors the ability to present recommendations to clients remotely. Our remote video advice platform provided the ability to email recommendation packs and then have a real-time discussion regardless of the client’s location. For example, one of our advisors has had several instances where the video tech has allowed family members from different areas of the country to discuss the suitability of equity release for their loved ones. Even a client who had a daughter in Namibia and a son in another area of the UK, were able to have a four way discussion with an advisor.

Age Partnership adapted speedily and compliantly to the challenges of this year, and although we are the largest whole-of-market advisor in the UK we are still incredibly agile, key to our growth and performance over the last 12 months. We continue to invest heavily in tech developments. From the inception of our customer portal, to the launch of the video advice platform, we recognise the importance of using tech to enhance our customer experience and drive efficiencies.