Bower Retirement is expanding its range of products, with the launch of the first dedicated high net worth equity release service, in response to strong demand for targeted advice as property wealth becomes more important to retirement planning.
Bower Private Clients has recruited specialist advisers from private banks and can create individual terms to help it deliver personalised equity release solutions for customers with the initial focus on London and the South East.
The high net worth adviser is able to offer bespoke equity release rates and terms for customers as the equity release market expands into wider retirement lending. Bower is working with private banks, accountants and law firms after being referred complex cases including typically customers facing interest-only issues as well as clients wanting to gift substantial amounts to family for house purchases. Cases have involved clients releasing GBP1 million-plus.
The firm writes that the launch is being driven by increasing numbers of retired homeowners with homes worth more than GBP1 million who need more complex advice on property and legal issues who are looking for equity release solutions. Bower believes the growth in property wealth is dramatically changing the equity release market while pensions and investments remain under pressure.
Its analysis shows more than 36,000 GBP1 million-plus homes have been bought without mortgages in England and Wales in the past five years – more than 85 per cent of those deals were in London and the South East.
Andrea Rozario, Chief Corporate Officer at Bower Private Clients says: “The expansion is being driven by clients and their wider range of advisers including private banks, lawyers, accountants and wealth managers who recognise that property wealth can offer a variety of solutions.
“Homeowners increasingly have more wealth tied up in their properties – our analysis shows that around GBP63 billion has been spent buying GBP1 million-plus homes without the need for a mortgage in the past five years – and want to be able to access that wealth as part of retirement planning.
“Launching Bower Private Clients is the next logical step to provide a service focused on retirement lending for high net worth clients and we are already seeing strong demand from clients and introducers.”
Specialist underwriting is needed for many high net worth clients as more expensive properties can be problematic and may need specialist surveys and innovative solutions, the firm writes. Advisers are able to provide individual discretion on rates for equity release plans which can be personalised and structured to meet client needs which can include advice on inheritance tax as well as restructuring finances.