Bob Hunt, CEO of Paradigm Mortgage Services, has actively championed the DA community since the launch of Paradigm in 2007. Both publically, and behind the scenes, Bob works hard to use his experience and influence to ensure appropriate recognition and fair treatment for intermediaries in a range of areas, from Proc fees and quality metrics to product access and dual pricing. Paradigm has proved that despite tough market conditions it is possible to not only compete against other larger scale more established Distributors, but in creating a new model of distributor – a partnership model – to reward firms for the consistency, quality and loyalty of their business support.

Bob’s latest article is available below, and there is an extensive Blog Archive including all past articles.


05 Jun 2018

It’s worth looking into later life lending

Clearly when it comes to growth sectors in the mortgage market, there are few that look as ‘appetising’ as later life lending.

A cavalcade of determining factors appear to have joined together in order to make the demand for advice in this part of the market high, including demographic changes, pension freedoms, interest-only mortgage repayment, greater individual responsibility in areas such as long-term care, to name just a few.

In not so many words, those reaching or in retirement are much more likely to have mortgage debt to service, may need further loans to take them through retirement, and essentially will increasingly need to access the equity they have stored up in their properties in order to move smoothly through retirement.

Let’s make no bones about this – especially in advice terms – there is a far greater level of potential complication when it comes to those clients in later life than you are likely to encounter in the mainstream sector.

Of course, I recognise the complexities of arranging mortgages for the self-employed, or contractors, or those with multiple income sources who may have adverse credit in their background, but generally when you’re dealing with an older borrower you are having to take into account a greater number of wants and needs, not forgetting issues such as the state pension, benefits, inheritance tax, family concerns, care, existing living arrangements, etc, etc.

This is no easy order-taking experience for the adviser, and for that reason I tend to understand why some firms might not wish to dip their business toes into these potentially muddy waters.

However, when it comes to lucrative client types, and as mentioned, the growing demand for advice in this area, it would probably be remiss of you not to (at the very least) look at the options available to you.

For some, the step would be a natural one. They may already be offering later life mortgages to clients but – quite rightly – feel that they also need to be offering equity release as well in order to ensure the client has full access to all the options.

Securing the necessary authorisation and qualifications in order to do this should be relatively straightforward but, anyone embarking on such a path must remember that the equity release sector is different to the mainstream mortgage one.

For a start, there are plenty of sector developments to keep up with and products change constantly, plus there are considerations not just around lifetime mortgages and home reversions, but also other mortgages like the new retirement interest-only (RIO) offerings which are likely to grow in number, and of course many more lenders have upped their maximum ages when it comes to traditional loans.

This is not a sector where you can rest back on any initial knowledge learnt – it requires constant CPD and a constant appraisal of what is available and how criteria/pricing, etc, might change.

Therefore, some firms might feel that an introducer arrangement would be far more suitable for them. In this case, you need to work with a specialist firm that covers all the bases mentioned above, not just either/or when it comes to later life loans and equity release.

The options have grown so dramatically that there is the potential for regulatory action should the client feel they have been taken down the wrong route, so why not make sure they are seeing an adviser that can offer access to all the products that might be suitable for their needs.

Added to this sector complexity, is (as mentioned) the complexity of the client themselves.

One hates to use the word ‘vulnerable’ but it is a ‘badge’ that has been stuck on clients of a certain age, and one feels that the FCA in particular wants to keep this at the front of advisers’ minds when working in this space.

Of course, many later life clients are not vulnerable at all but some are, and the checks and balances – such as independent legal advice – are in place for a good reason.

It does however mean that advisers may have to take a different approach when dealing with such clients – the focus on quality soft skills is particularly relevant here.

All in all, the opportunities clearly outweigh the threats when it comes to the later life market – it is only going to grow and will increasingly need quality multi-sector advice.

Recent calls for a qualification that covers all areas are, in my view, justified as is the potential adviser shortage if more advisers don’t make themselves available.

However, with support from distributors like ourselves, and by taking advantage of the big support network around the later life market, there is every possibility to make such a transition a pain-free one and to make a considerable success of your work in this area.


Bob Hunt

Blog Archive

Simply focusing on age will not fix borrowing into retirement 
22 Dec 2015

Reduce the regulatory burden for firms by reallocating money from FCA fines 
03 Nov 2015

Customer choice has narrowed – the FCA could help fix this 
02 Nov 2015

The regulator’s differing interpretations of rules 
21 Oct 2015

Change is constant 
08 Oct 2015

Paradigm signs exclusive specialist lending deal with Brightstar 
06 Oct 2015

Landlords cash in on PRS 
22 Sep 2015

MCD – no grace but plenty of favours 
16 Sep 2015

Equity release success signals change in consumer perspective 
05 Aug 2015

Remortgagers play at ‘chicken or egg’ 
29 Jul 2015

BTL has closed the housing gap 
20 Jul 2015

Analysis: Writing a will can avoid a death blow 
15 Jul 2015

Industry deserves housing minister appointed to Cabinet 
22 Jun 2015

Waiving Stamp Duty won't encourage downsizing 
08 Jun 2015

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t 
01 Jun 2015

In the Spotlight with Bob Hunt 
26 May 2015

Election result provides stability 
20 May 2015

‘Grey borrower’ power is set to grow 
13 May 2015

Decisive election result could spur new build revolution 
27 Apr 2015

MMR 12 months on 
13 Apr 2015

Mind the protection gap 
09 Apr 2015

Analysis: Change status with the right support 
08 Apr 2015

Housing will be election battleground 
16 Mar 2015

Securing the specialist string to your bow 
04 Mar 2015

Interest rate direction is anyone’s guess 
04 Mar 2015

Regulatory B2L change is inevitable 
12 Feb 2015

Analysis: Do your homework with relationships 
04 Feb 2015

Lenders rising to the self-employed challenge 
04 Feb 2015

The sectors to watch in 2015 
06 Jan 2015

A helping hand 
05 Jan 2015

Can a landlord be truly ‘accidental’? 
17 Dec 2014

Coming in from the cold 
05 Dec 2014

Analysis: Why distribution demands inclusion 
12 Nov 2014

HSBC’s move signals cost of branch advice still rising 
20 Oct 2014

Analysis: Broker community boosted by HSBC 
15 Oct 2014

Just when I thought I was out 
08 Sep 2014

Analysis: Owning a home is not out of reach 
03 Sep 2014

Take level 4 advice exams before the FCA steps in 
02 Sep 2014

Analysis: Get set for more BoE intervention 
20 Aug 2014

Welcome to the Twilight Zone 
11 Aug 2014

Housing policy deserves seat at top table – Bob Hunt 
24 Jul 2014

MMR is enough to slow the bubble 
09 Jul 2014

Help to Buy remains in the spotlight 
08 Jul 2014

Mixed messages risk consumer confusion - Bob Hunt 
03 Jul 2014

It’s good to talk 
20 Jun 2014

H2B a rare housing policy success 
18 Jun 2014

Increasing mortgage volume will come through brokers - Bob Hunt 
27 May 2014

The better option to going direct 
14 May 2014

FCA concerned by packaging renaissance 
12 May 2014

Watch out for European regulation by year-end 
06 May 2014

Ask the Experts: Will MMR cause mass application declines? 
22 Apr 2014

Ask the Experts: Can a broker operate MMR-compliantly before 26 April? 
17 Apr 2014

Cross-sales not just for times of crisis 
16 Apr 2014

Brokers in the dock 
26 Mar 2014

Lenders in catch 22 situation over MMR - Bob Hunt 
25 Mar 2014

Paradigm launches protection arm 
21 Mar 2014

‘MMR Day’ may be a damp squib 
12 Mar 2014

Make sure your papers are in order 
12 Mar 2014

MMR lending slowdown could force protection bonanza 
18 Feb 2014

Countdown to MMR 
12 Feb 2014

A big year ahead for lenders 
04 Feb 2014

If the quality is same – why can’t AR & DA proc fees be equalised? 
30 Jan 2014

BoE is unlikely to be trigger-happy 
15 Jan 2014

We’re not in 2008 anymore 
09 Jan 2014

FCA cannot ignore views of smaller firms 
13 Dec 2013

The Prediction Game 
06 Dec 2013

Stay ahead of the regulator with CPD 
27 Nov 2013

Don’t let booming business hamper MMR preparation 
21 Nov 2013

Living up to expectations 
15 Nov 2013

MMR compliance underpins success 
30 Oct 2013

Advisers should step up to level 4 qualifications 
24 Oct 2013

Bank of England must follow words with actions 
02 Oct 2013

Lean times leave a leaner, keener core 
04 Sep 2013

If you don't ask lenders, you don't get 
22 Aug 2013

Steady as she goes is the right approach 
20 Aug 2013

Are we about to see a broker boom? 
16 Jul 2013

Now is not the time for procrastination 
10 Jul 2013

Improving standards is no grounds for complaint 
03 Jul 2013

Is product innovation being tied in knots? 
24 Jun 2013

We can’t rely on external stimulus 
06 Jun 2013

Put your services in the shop window 
06 Jun 2013

Mutual Magic 
30 May 2013

Does the FCA understand human frailty? 
07 May 2013

Has the mortgage market regained its mojo? 
17 Apr 2013

Help to Buy plus prudence equals prosperity 
05 Apr 2013

Will George Osborne be having a flutter ahead of the Budget? 
14 Mar 2013

Size matters on capital adequacy 
04 Mar 2013

Mortgage Indemnity Guarantees: helping first-time buyers fly 
19 Feb 2013

HS2? I’d rather see more houses built instead 
06 Feb 2013

95% LTV mortgages are not back... yet 
22 Jan 2013

Regulators have listened to feedback 
21 Jan 2013

The Great House Price Debate 
07 Jan 2013

Keeping your clients' wills up to date 
02 Jan 2013