WTW (formerly Willis Towers Watson), a multinational risk management, insurance brokerage, and advisory firm, has joined the Equity Release Council.
WTW provides professional consulting services and data-driven, insight-led business solutions in the areas of people, risk, and capital to help organisations become more resilient, motivate employees, and maximise performance.
WTW provides solutions to recent regulatory challenges posed by equity release treatment for insurers, advisors, and industry participants.
The firm collaborates with key market players to provide advice on the full range of equity release client needs.
Including matching adjustment structuring enhancement, internal model and EVT in stress methodology development, internal rating, valuation modelling, and new product initiatives.
Rising Membership Numbers Show Equity Release’s Increasing Popularity as a Mainstream Product.
With the addition of WTW, the Council now has 678 members, including product providers, financial advisers, solicitors, surveyors, and other professionals involved in the equity release market. In the last year, membership has increased by 42%
The Council’s soaring membership figures demonstrate the growing popularity of equity release as a mainstream product.
Offered by an increasing number of firms to meet various consumer needs in later life, ranging from financial planning and intergenerational gifting, to debt consolidation.
Modern equity release products offer secure and flexible financing to older homeowners, backed by strict safeguards that have been in place for 30 years.
In 2021, over 75,000 new and returning customers used equity release products to access record amounts of property wealth, with a 24% year-on-year increase bringing total annual lending to £4.8 billion.
The CEO of the Equity Release Council, Jim Boyd, Has the Following to Add:
WTW is a welcome addition to the growing member group, which is unique in that it provides insights from across the market and covers all areas of the customer experience.
All ERC members’ contributions and expertise are critical to improving equity release’s standing in the broader financial services industry.
Where it has become an important part of product portfolios and advice propositions for any firm with serious ambitions to meet the needs of older consumers in general.
As a Council member, WTW’s commitment to market development will assist other enterprises in operating successfully and meeting the predicted growth in customer demand for adaptable goods underpinned by strict safeguards and protections.
What Does WTW Have to Say?
WTW commented that they’re delighted to be joining the Equity Release Council as affiliate members to further support the growth and innovation of a key consumer product which provides long-term investors with a valuable asset.
Their team of specialist advisors has a unique understanding of the issues involved in sourcing, modelling, and managing equity release assets.
They look forward to sharing what they learned from the challenges they’ve faced as advisors and in-house on projects spanning several annuity writers with ERM exposure.
This requirement signals the end of a temporary change to the Council’s rules and advice that allowed cases to be completed remotely without an in-person contact with a solicitor.
As well as the return to the Council’s pre-covid regulations.
Perhaps the world is finally going back to normal?