Safeguards and Regulations

SHIP & FSA Protection



Protection is key to providing peace of mind with regards to equity release schemes.

Equity Release mortgages have now been in force since 1965, and been through much
change & regulation. People over age 55 can be considered more vulnerable members
of society. All equity release plans recommended by Compare Equity Release advisers
will therefore meet the standards laid down by the Equity Release Council & the Financial Conduct Authority.


Equity Release - Ensuring Your Safety

Lifetime mortgage schemes were regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (formerly FSA) in October 2004, with
home reversion schemes following in April 2007. This ensures rules are followed & equity release schemes

fully protected. Should a future complaint arise then you can seek redress from the Financial Ombudsman


The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an agency for the abitrating of unresolved complaints between 

regulated firms and their clients. Full details of the FOS can be found at


Equity Release Council - formerly Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP)

Protection for the equity release industry started in 1991, with the launch of SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans),
which provided extra safeguards by ensuring equity release providers adhered to a voluntary code of conduct.

SHIP has now been superceded by the Equity Release Council. This new trade body aims to promote to virtues

of equity release further & has opened membership now to advisers, solicitors & relevant trade associations.

  • No negative equity guarantee – you can never owe more than the value of your property
  • Lifetime tenancy – provide the right to remain in the property for life
  • Choice of solicitor – the legal work can be carried out by a solicitor of your choice
  • Portability – freedom to transfer the equity release loan to a new property

Equity Release Advisers

should be fully qualified and must hold the relevant equity release examinations. Depending on the
examination body (CII or IFS) these will include the core lifetime mortage qualifications:-

  • Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP)
  • Certificate in Regulated Equity Release (CeRER)
  • CF1, CF6 and ER1

Check the FCA register to ensure your adviser is authorised in lifetime mortgage & home reversion plans.


Equity Release Solicitors

are required to conduct the legal aspect of any application. To meet SHIP guidelines they must always be
independent of the lifetime mortgage lenders solicitor. To ensure speed & quality of transaction we would
always recommend a solicitor who is a member of ERSA (Equity Release Solicitors Alliance).

ERSA offers access to specialist solicitors who take the applicant through the equity release process.


ERSA members


Compare Equity Release can offer competitive fixed costs with these specialist equity release solicitors: -


Goldsmith Williams - Mersey Chambers, 5 Old Churchyard, Liverpool. L2 8GW.
t: 0845 373 3737

Equilaw Ltd - Brunswick House, Gloucester Business Park, Gloucester. GL3 4AA.
t: 01452 657999

Ashfords LLP - Ashford House, Grenadier Road, Exeter. EX1 3LH
t: 01392 334060


For details on the exclusive fixed solicitor fees, please call the equity release helpline on 0800 678 5169.


Further Information About Equity Release

The Financial Conduct Authority through the Money Advice Service produces information on the various forms of equity release and can provide more advice about equity release here.




This is an equity release plan. To understand the features and risks ask for a personalised illustration.

Sign up to receive latest news & updates from

Your Email Address Here....


These are lifetime mortgage & home reversion plans. To understand the risk & features of these plans, request a personalised Key Facts Illustration. helps you to compare and arrange equity release schemes from the whole of the equity release market:

Aviva | Bridgewater | Hodge Lifetime | Just Retirement | LV= | more2life | One Family | Retirement Advantage | Pure Retirement L&G Crown