JLM Mortgage Services has launched a new equity release advisory firm called Equity Release Mortgage Advice (ERMA).
The firm, a subsidiary and appointed representative (AR) of JLM, currently has five specialist advisers who can all offer equity release, standard mortgage and later life lending advice, ensuring clients are presented with a whole of market approach covering products from all lenders and providers active in this sector.
The launch, following a pilot period for the firm, comes with a new website – equityreleasemortgageadvice.org. Other advisers within the JLM network are also able to refer and introduce cases to ERMA where their clients will receive specialist advice.
ERMA has committed to a fixed-fee structure rather than one based on a percentage of the loan. Advisers will only charge a fee of £995 regardless of the loan amount and clients will pay this fee at completion rather than earlier in the process as other equity release advisers tend to do.
It is a member of the Equity Release Council and is committed to its standards.
Rory Joseph, director of JLM Mortgage Services, said: “You only need look at the growing lending figures in equity release to see this is a product area increasingly in demand as more and more potential clients look to use their home as an asset. There has been some significant growth in this part of the market, especially with greater numbers of later life lending products, and we wanted to ensure we had a specialist advisory practice that was able to cover all product bases, not just equity release.
“This is important because an equity release product is not always the most suitable, however if you’re a customer that has gone to an adviser that only offers equity release then this is the only option you’re going to be provided with. In our view, this is wrong and with ERMA we believe our clients are going to get the right product for their needs and circumstances every single time.”
Sebastian Murphy, head of mortgage finance at JLM Mortgage Services, added: “With this firm, we also wanted to make sure we took a thoroughly ethical approach to equity release and later life lending advice. Other adviser firms might try to defend a percentage-based fee approach but there is absolutely no reason why a fixed-fee proposition shouldn’t be the norm, as some of the percentage fees charged are, to our mind, unjustifiable. The work involved does not warrant potentially many thousands of pounds in fees and all our advisers are committed to this fee structure to provide clients with the best advice without charging the earth for it.
“We begin with five advisers under the ERMA umbrella but we believe the growing demand, and increased interest from advisers themselves, will mean we’ll develop our offering and adviser numbers very quickly. If there are any advisers interested in talking to us about how we can support them in this sector, please do get in contact.”