This detriment could include both financial and non-financial detriment which typically covers distress, inconvenience, pain, suffering or damage to reputation. The outcome of this contact (whether advice was provided or not) should be shared with the Provider. Where such exceptional circumstances arise, the Standards Board will consider what action to take on a case-by-case basis. Members of the Equity Release Council have to abide by a Code of Conduct that guarantees that our ethics and standards. The Council is aware that the advising solicitor may also be part of the same group as the advising financial adviser, under common ownership. (e) The Council is aware of, and fully endorses, the efforts that many members already make to use a range of existing systems and calculators to evaluate liability for tax and eligibility for welfare benefits and provide further information to customers. Northern Ireland: any practice rules or guidance issued by the Law Society of Northern Ireland; any practice rules and guidance issued by the Bar Council of Northern Ireland. 3.1 Provider members are not permitted to accept execution-only business. The Equity Release Council has updated its industry standards in what it says is the largest evolution since the organisation was established in 2012. Any choice made by the customer(s) in choosing a particular law firm must be fully documented by the adviser member. This will ensure that the purpose and amount of the requested drawdown is consistent with the customer’s personal circumstances and needs documented when the initial advice was given. For further details click here. With regard to lifetime mortgages, where additional sums may be withdrawn over a period of time (“drawdowns”) and are part of the initial contract, these will have been part of the original advice/planning process and will have been subject to the initial independent legal advice. It will remain the responsibility of the Advising Solicitor who appoints the Agent Solicitor to satisfy itself that said Agent Solicitor is appropriately qualified and registered. Both you and your solicitor will be required to sign a certificate confirming that these rights and obligations have been explained to you and that you wish to enter into the plan. Equity Release Council – Our Rules and Guidance – Introduction. 10.2    The Council is aware that there are some websites which show the Council’s logo, but which are not the home websites of Council members. It is not therefore considered necessary for further legal advice to be given in respect of such drawdowns in most circumstances. The Equity Release Council aims to protect the customer by putting safeguards and guarantees in place so that the customer has better knowledge, treated fairly and able to confidential make their decision if equity release is right for them. The Council acknowledges that there are arguments both in favour of and against requiring independent legal advice to be given in every case where customers seek to release further equity. Equity release allows individuals aged 55 and over to release money from the property they live in without having to make any monthly repayments. This rule also applies where the application relates to an existing customer, who seeks an increase in the amount to be borrowed under a lifetime mortgage contract over and above the maximum amount or loan commitment on which advice was originally given, or an increase in the share of ownership to be sold under a home reversion plan. joining  date 23rd June 2019  – renewal date 1st July 2020. (j) Members might consider developing a process that: (k) Implement robust quality assurance programmes that aim to improve customer experience and outcomes, and routinely test these to ensure that customers are treated fairly, and with empathy and sensitivity to their circumstances. (l) Contact all customers who are referred to them for advice by Provider members with the aim of qualifying the need for advice. The non-exhaustive list complements the points made within section 3.3 Customer Vulnerability and sets out some of the main factors which should be considered: It will be for each provider and adviser to decide how much weight needs to be given to any of the above in the individual circumstances. Equity release is a means of retaining use of a house or other object which has capital value, while also obtaining a lump sum or a steady stream of income, using the value of the house.. Customers can therefore check when they could switch provider without incurring penalties. Equity release plans meet the Equity Release Council standards to protect your loved ones from negative equity. bereavement, divorce, redundancy or unemployment; is unable to recollect previous borrowing; has dementia or other health issues that is impacting their understanding; due to a life event is distressed or confused; is acting without the knowledge of a joint customer; is under the influence or coercion by a Third Party; A record of the information provided is kept, so that it can be clearly demonstrated that each of the points contained in the Adviser Checklist has been fully covered, Where information is given over the telephone, the identity of the customer being spoken to has been verified, Where there are joint applicants, each has been given the required information, Records are kept in such a way that they are easily retrievable, and an effective audit trail is maintained. 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