Norwich Union announces improvements to equity release range

Article date: 20 August 2007

Norwich Union has today introduced three improvements to its equity release range. They are:

  • Interest rates fixed on application (Lifetime Mortgages)
  • Flat rate application fee (Lifetime Mortgages)
  • A new equity release service promise.

Norwich Union is fixing the interest rate from the date of application for its Fixed Rate Lifetime Mortgage and Cash Reserve Option plans. When a valid application is received, the interest rate which is current on the day will be guaranteed for 14 weeks while the loan completes. For Index-Linked Lifetime Mortgages, the floor and ceiling rates will also be fixed from the day of application.

To further simplify the advice process, Norwich Union is also offering all customers a flat rate application fee across all lifetime mortgage products. This adjustment will mean the fee remains the same regardless of which product is selected.

In addition, Norwich Union is launching an Equity Release Service Promise. This promise gives an extra assurance to customers and advisers by providing a written commitment to:

  • Process applications within five working days of receipt
  • Instruct an appointed valuer within these five working days
  • Prepare the offer documents within five working days of receipt of valuation report
  • Assign a "case owner" once the offer has been issued
  • Keep customer informed of the progress of the application
  • Provide customers with as much help and support as they may need after the equity release plan has completed

Dominic Fraser-Smith, group product manager, Norwich Union Post Retirement Products, said: "As a leading provider in the equity release market, we look to be as transparent as possible for our customers. By fixing our rates at application and offering a flat rate application fee, we can help to make the equity release advice process simpler and easier for all concerned.

"Furthermore, by offering a service promise, we can ensure that we make the equity release process less complex for our customers. While equity release is not right for all consumers, we believe there are many who can benefit from this product and feel these changes will make it easier for advisers and interested customers to understand the benefits."

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Press office contacts:                     

Norwich Union
Sarah Horner 01904 452828 Out of hours 07800 691569                    
Louise Soulsby 01904 452617 Out of hours 07800 699526

The Wriglesworth Consultancy
Laura O'Connell / Lee Blackwell / Suman Katyal
Telephone: 0207 845 7900
E-mail: s.katyal@wriglesworth.com 

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.

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