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Media Release - 20th of January 2015

Published on: January 2015

SEQUAL launches new website and strengthens protection for Senior Homeowners considering Equity Release

Senior Australians Equity Release Association (SEQUAL) announced the launch today of its new website, designed to reinforce its role as key campaigner for consumer choice, protection and education in the area of Equity Release for Senior Australians.

The Association has acknowledged a diminished presence of dedicated support and advocacy for Senior Australians, when considering their financial options in retirement. The focus of the Association will now include a broadening of membership options for providers of financial products, education and advocacy bodies with an even stronger focus on consumer rights and protection.

SEQUAL Chairman, Mr John Thomas, said the Association formed a decade ago when Equity Release was synonymous with providers of reverse mortgages.

“The industry was new and our role was focused on developing the foundations for industry and consumers. One of our main achievements has been the enactment of laws in 2012 that enshrined many of the consumer protection principles in our voluntary code of conduct for members, including a ‘no negative equity’ guarantee.”

Over the last 10 years, the Equity Release market has expanded to include non-debt options and is anticipated to be a growth sector into the future, with more Senior Australians reaching retirement age seeking fair and safe mechanisms to fulfill their retirement goals.

SEQUAL has recognized the changing nature of the Equity Release market and the importance of providing Seniors with the support they need to make informed decisions.

“Today we are announcing a new mission statement that is really all about the consumer”.

“Our primary goal is to advocate a dignified and secure retirement for all Australian home owners. Equity Release should mean no home owner needs to experience financial hardship in retirement or be forced out of their home.”

“One of our primary goals is education about equity release. A new website launched today is the start of our increased education and advocacy.”

Mr Thomas said the growing diversity of the equity release market and the development of products with uncertain outcomes made SEQUAL more relevant that ever to consumers.

“We are taking a very strong position here. Providers will only be eligible to join SEQUAL if their product absolutely protects the right of the consumer to remain in their home for life.

“Reverse Mortgages offer that guarantee, as do the Shared Sale Agreements offered by Homesafe Wealth Release”.

“The right of senior home owners to remain in their home for life is at the core of our new mission statement, and it means the SEQUAL logo stands for absolute confidence when a homeowner benefits from an Equity Release product provided by our members,” Mr Thomas said.

 

To arrange an interview with John Thomas, contact Pauline Negline at SEQUAL on 1300 784 532

 

 SEQUAL’s new mission statement

  • Advocate a dignified and secure retirement for all Australian home owners
  • Promote an understanding of senior’s equity release to consumers and other stakeholders
  • Ensure members adhere to SEQUAL’s “Consumer Protection Principles” to foster consumer confidence