What Is New in the Equity Release Industry in 2024?

Can I Still Get a Lifetime Mortgage From Stonehaven? What Has Happened to Mortgage Express? We Have the Answers Here.
  • Last Updated: 30 Jan 2024
  • Fact Checked
  • Our team recently fact checked this article for accuracy. However, things do change, so please do your own research.

Contributors:

Francis Hui

Key Takeaways

  • The latest trends in the UK equity release industry point towards a growing popularity of lifetime mortgages and more flexible repayment options.
  • Recent regulations have ensured better protection for consumers, with the introduction of ‘no negative equity’ guarantees and more stringent advice requirements.
  • The newest products include interest-only lifetime mortgages and voluntary repayment schemes, offering more flexibility to borrowers.
  • Brexit has brought about uncertainty in the UK industry, potentially impacting interest rates and house prices, but its long-term effects remain to be seen.
  • Forecasts suggest a continued growth due to an aging population and increased consumer confidence in these products.

Have you stayed on top of all updates in the equity release industry? 

Do not worry, we are here to help you keep up with all the equity release industry changes you need to know about.

Do not miss out on enormous interest rate cuts because your equity release lender is not considering plan changes anymore.

In This Article, You Will Discover:

    At Every Investor, we are committed to helping you navigate the ever-changing world of equity release.

    Read on to stay informed on all the latest equity release industry updates.

    What Exactly Is Equity Release?

    At its core, equity release is a means for individuals over 55 to unlock the financial value of their property.

    It offers a way to access the wealth tied up in your home, either as a single payment or as ongoing income.

    Unique to this scheme are options like lifetime mortgages, where you retain home ownership, and home reversion plans, where you sell a part of your home.

    These choices provide flexibility, catering to diverse needs like supplementing pensions or covering unexpected expenses in later life.

    Learn More: Equity Release News

    What Are the Latest Updates in the Equity Release Industry in the UK?

    The UK equity release industry has seen significant changes in 2021.

    The Equity Release Council reports a dynamic adjustment in lender attitudes and product offerings, largely driven by a surge in demand post-lockdown.

    Lenders are now offering more flexible options, including downsizing protection and fixed early repayment charges.

    Furthermore, interest rates for equity release are at an all-time low, making it an attractive option for homeowners.

    The industry now offers green equity release products, allowing homeowners to access funds to make their homes more energy efficient.

    Demonstrating the industry's commitment to sustainable living and climate change mitigation.

    Do Stonehaven and Retirement Advantage Still Exist?

    Stonehaven still exists in name as a registered entity under Canada Life Home Finance, but you are not likely to find Retirement Advantage listed anywhere. 

    The short version?

    Stonehaven merged with annuity provider MGM Advantage in 2014, and was renamed Retirement Advantage in 20151

    Retirement Advantage was acquired by Canada Life in January 20182, and in October of the same year, the Retirement Advantage Equity Release division became Canada Life Home Finance. 

    Do I need to do anything?

    Probably not. Canada Life continues to offer equity release loans, so if you are an existing Stonehaven or Retirement Advantage client, you should be able to contact Canada Life if you would like to release more equity or switch to a different plan.

    Are Stonehaven and Retirement Advantage FCA-Authorised and Regulated?

    Stonehaven is authorised and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under reference number 435892.

    How Do I Contact Canada Life?

    If you need to contact Canada Life to make an enquiry or a complaint, you can use the following details:

    Address:

    Canada Life Home Finance, Canada Life Place, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, EN6 5BA, UK

    Telephone number:

    • +44 (0) 345 606 0708

    Email:

    customer.services@canadalife.co.uk

    Website:

    www.canadalife.co.uk

    Does SHIP Still Exist?

    SHIP still exists, but it is called the Equity Release Council (ERC)3 now and it has expanded it's functions extensively.

    The short version:

    Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) was set up in 1991 to regulate equity release providers and ensure industry best practices were adhered to when clients were approved for equity release. 

    In 2012, SHIP relaunched as the Equity Release Council, which immediately had a larger remit, as the rebranded ERC now oversees “financial advisers, surveyors, solicitors, intermediaries and other industry professionals” in addition to equity release providers.

    Do I need to do anything?

    All you need to do is make sure any equity release products you are considering are approved by the Equity Release Council (ERC). 

    The same goes for any equity release advisers and solicitors you may decide to consult. You can check the credentials of registered equity release providers and professionals on the Equity Release Council’s online database4.

    How Do I Contact the Equity Release Council?

    If you would like to contact the Equity Release Council in order to lodge a query or make a complaint, you can fill in the contact form on their website, or reach them by using the following details:

    Address:

    Equity Release Council, The Old Rectory, Church Lane, Thornby, NN6 8SN

    Telephone number: 

    0300 012 0239

    Website: 

    https://www.equityreleasecouncil.com/contact/

    What Happened to Northern Rock and Papilio?

    Northern Rock was the first great casualty of the 2008 banking crisis5, and was nationalised after it experienced a negative run the likes of which had not been seen in 150 years.

    The short version:

    Northern Rock’s equity release portfolio was subsequently sold to JP Morgan Chase in 20086. Northern Rock administered these loans until 2011, at which point the titles were transferred to JP Morgan Chase. 

    Under JP Morgan Chase, the old Northern Rock equity release loans have been administered by Papilio UK Equity Release Mortgages.

    Do I need to do anything?

    If your Northern Rock equity release mortgage is being administrated by Papilio, you should probably switch to a different provider as soon as possible.

    As always, we recommend you speak to an independent financial adviser or broker before making any decisions regarding your equity release mortgage.

    Why switch?

    Papilio does not allow any further lending on existing equity release loans, which means you will not be able to access any more equity — even if your original agreement allowed further loans!

    You may also be able to access a much lower interest rate, as equity release rates have dropped significantly in recent years. 

    Anything else?

    Your original Northern Rock equity release plan may not have permitted any interest repayments, which means your interest will be rolling up at a significant rate, increasing the total amount you owe. 

    You could save considerably by switching to a plan with a lower rate, or a plan that allows interest repayments.

    Are Northern Rock and Papilio FCA-Authorised and Regulated?

    No, Northern Rock and Papilio are no longer authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA and / or PRA, but JP Morgan Chase, who owns Northern Rock’s equity release portfolio, is registered.

    Their FCA reference number is 124491.

    How Do I Contact Papilio?

    You can contact Papilio by using the details of their relevant legal entity, Intertrust Corporate Services Ltd:

    Address:

    1, Bartholomew Lane, London, UK, EC2N 2AX

    Does Mortgage Express Still Exist?

    No, Mortgage Express does not exist anymore, and their equity release loans have been taken over. 

    The short version?

    When Bradford & Bingley were nationalised during the financial crisis of 20087, Mortgage Express went with them. In 2018, £860mln of Bradford & Bingley and Mortgage Express equity release loans were sold to Rothesay Life Plc8

    Some Mortgage Express equity release loans were transferred to Pure Retirement in 2020.

    Do I need to do anything?

    If you took out equity release from Mortgage Express and have not moved to another equity release lender yet, you may want to consider switching to a different provider if possible.

    As always, we recommend you speak to an independent financial adviser before making any decisions regarding your equity release mortgage.

    Why switch?

    You may also be able to access a much lower interest rate, as equity release rates have dropped significantly in recent years. 

    Is Mortgage Express FCA-Authorised and Regulated?

    Yes, Mortgage Express is authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA. Their reference number is 305572.

    How Do I Contact Mortgage Express?

    You can contact Bradford & Bingley by using the following details:

    Address:

    The Waterfront, Salts Mill Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 7EZ, UK

    Does Norwich Union Still Exist?

    No, Norwich Union does not exist under that name anymore.

    The short version?

    In 2000, Norwich Union merged with CGU to form CGNU, which eventually rebranded as Aviva in 20099.

    Do I need to do anything?

    No, you do not need to do anything. Aviva continues to offer equity release plans, which means you may be able to release more equity if you would like. 

    Is Aviva FCA-Authorised and Regulated?

    Yes, Aviva is authorised and regulated in the UK by the FCA.

    Their reference number is 310433.

    How Do I Contact Aviva?

    You can contact Aviva by using the following details:

    Address:

    Wellington Row, York, North Yorkshire, YO90 1WR, UK

    Email:

    ukifca@aviva.com

    Website:

    www.aviva.co.uk

    Common Questions

    What Are the Latest Trends in the UK Equity Release Industry?

    How Have Recent Regulations Affected the Equity Release Industry?

    What Are the Newest Equity Release Products in the UK Market?

    How Is Brexit Affecting the Equity Release Industry in the UK?

    What Are the Forecasts for the Equity Release Industry in the Coming Years?

    Who Took Over Stonehaven Equity Release?

    Who Took Over Northern Rock Equity Release?

    Who Took Over Norwich Union Equity Release?

    What Is a SHIP Certificate on Equity Release?

    Conclusion

    If your equity release or bank loan has been transferred or sold to a different company, you may want to find out whether you can switch to a new plan.

    Speak to a financial adviser or broker to find out what your options are, and be sure to stay informed on equity release industry updates.

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