Why Key should win
As market leader, Key remains committed to growing the equity release (ER) market, challenging the status quo and putting customers at its heart. The pandemic has seen a focus on new ways of working in order to support customers, partners and colleagues.
Convinced that for the market to live up to its potential, we need to think differently, Key:
- Drastically reduced face-to-face advice and equipped advisers with the telephone and zoom technology to provide appointments from home due to Covid-19. This ensured customers were able to receive the specialist advice needed and enabled family/friends to remain involved, something Key always encourages.
- Provided different routes to market for customers launching Key Equity Release (KER) and The Equity Release Experts (TERE) at the end of 2019. TERE is a whole of market offering while KER is our own-branded proposition providing fee free advice, access to 80+ KER branded products and smoother admin process – a market first;
- Invested in a multi-million pound Advice Delivery Platform that ensures consistent advice across all channels and delivers a more streamlined customer journey.
An overview of Key
Against the backdrop of a global pandemic which hit the market hard in Q2, although Q3 is showing signs of recovery, Key focused on:
- Amending its advice philosophy to focus on supporting customers with specific needs rather than those who desire to release cash for more discretionary spending. While this had a commercial impact, putting customers first is vital. Key wanted to ensure that customers were not limited by what products and terms were available during the initial Covid-19 period;
- Enhanced its approach to identification of vulnerability given Covid-19 and increased support for vulnerable customers using trained champions that advisers call on for guidance/to attend meetings. By the end of Q3 2020, 478 cases – ranging from financial resilience, mental incapacity or concerns around undue influence – were identified and managed to achieve best customer outcomes;
- Continuing to invest in market growth with significant marketing and advertising spend – specifically the “equity release that’s right for you” proposition;
- Safeguarding colleague’s livelihood and mental well-being over this tough period. Key has not cut hours, used Government Furlough support or made any redundancies. Instead, the majority of people were moved to working successfully from home and offered support as required.
Against a challenging economic situation, Key saw a 4% growth in the amount released in the last 12 months. This was achieved through helping 9,043 customers (-20% decrease YOY) release around £650 million of equity (-15% decrease YOY).
- In addition to signing deals with Simplybiz, Tenet and Paradigm, Key set up a unique partnership with Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) and created MAB Later Life – a proposition to allow advisers wanting to specialise in the later life lending market to operate as ARs of Key, helping to expand distribution in this sector
- Key has a Trustpilot score of 4.9/5 from over 15,500 customer reviews, highlighting the team’s customer-centric approach and how engrained quality advice and excellent customer service is.