Norwich Union welcomes the introduction of compulsory equity release exams

Article date: 1 August 2007

Norwich Union, a market leading provider of equity release, welcomes the introduction of compulsory equity release examinations for all intermediaries wishing to do business with SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) members.  As a member organisation, SHIP represents over 90% of the equity release sector.  Advisers who have not passed the appropriate lifetime mortgage exams will no longer be permitted to do business with any SHIP members post 1 August 2007. 

Paul Stokes, Head of Marketing, Norwich Union Post-Retirement Products, commented:

"Following the further regulation of equity release in April of this year, we are delighted that Home Reversion and Lifetime Mortgage schemes are now fully regulated by the FSA.  However, more action is needed in gaining customer trust of equity release and we are fully behind SHIP in still pushing for tighter controls. 

"The fact that all intermediaries must now have passed these compulsory examinations in order to continue to do business with SHIP members, highlights the further safeguards that have now been put in place to ensure consumers safety.  These are vitally important to continue the building of trust between advisers and customers.

"As a SHIP member, at Norwich Union we pride ourselves on working with only qualified advisers.  However, we are delighted to know that all SHIP members must now follow suit, and hope that this will allow customers access to the highest quality advice when taking out an equity release scheme."

  

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:
About Norwich Union

Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer.  It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers.  FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

Press office contacts:                     
Norwich Union:
Louise Soulsby +44 (0)1904 452617            
Out of hours +44 (0)7800 699526

The Wriglesworth Consultancy:
Laura O'Connell / Lee Blackwell
+44 (0)207 845 7900 l.blackwell@wriglesworth.com

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