The Equity Release Council (the Council) has signed up its 1,000th member, Sarah Barlow of Sarah Barlow Financial Solutions Limited (SBFSL).
The milestone comes at a time when equity release is experiencing steady growth. The start of 2019 saw £936m being unlocked from people’s homes, making Q1 the busiest first quarter on record.
The signing of SBFSL adds to the momentum built by the Council over the past year – with the appointment of Jim Boyd as its first CEO, Chris Fay appointed to communications manager and the opening of a new head office in the City of London.
Barlow said: “Joining the Equity Release Council was an easy decision for me. I’ve seen a greater consumer demand for equity release as homeowners use it for a variety of reasons, including giving a living inheritance to help children onto the property ladder. It was therefore important to me to be a member of a reputable trade body. One which promotes high standards of conduct and practice and helps consumers gain confidence in sourcing the right professional adviser for their needs.”
David Burrowes, chairman of the Equity Release Council, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Sarah as our 1,000th member. The growth in the Council’s membership is testament to both the rigorous safeguards and product innovation within the market, that are helping to move equity release into the mainstream of financial services.
“With the UK’s population living longer, attitudes towards property and financial planning are changing across the UK. The retirees of tomorrow increasingly plan to use money invested in property as a ‘nest egg’ for unexpected expenses or to help family members while they are still alive. The UK faces a complex challenge to balance the financial needs of old and young alike and property has an integral role to play.”