& European Pensions
Property Asset Release Group

EPPARG seeks to foster dialogue between industry, EU institutions and governments on innovative pensions and property asset release solutions.

EPPARG congratulates David Burrowes on his appointment as new Chair of the Equity Release Council

David Burrowes embarks on the role after serving as the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate from 2005-2017. The transition follows an agreement made by Waterson and the board in 2014 for him to extend his initial term as the Council’s first chairman for an additional three years.

A strong campaigner for local and national causes, Burrowes has championed consumer protection on issues including legal and medical services, and led campaigns for improved social and end-of-life care.

He also worked on behalf of his constituents on issues relating to pensions and financial services products, working closely with ministers, regulators, banks and the Treasury Select Committee to protect consumer interests via active membership of a number of All Party Parliamentary Groups.

During his time in Parliament, Burrowes served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to three cabinet ministers, across the Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and sat on the influential Home Affairs and Public Accounts Select Committees.
Burrowes also brings considerable legal expertise to the role having been shadow justice minister from 2007-2010 and a practising solicitor for 23 years.

He will formally take over from Waterson in December with the months proceeding used to ensure an orderly transition.

The equity release sector has seen a period of sustained growth, with trends suggesting it could surpass £3 billion in annual lending for the first time in 2017.

Part of this growth is due to the transition, overseen by Waterson, from SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) to The Council in 2012. The remit of the trade body was expanded from representing providers to opening up membership to advisers, solicitors and other industry professionals.

The move helped boost the membership of the Council, which now stands at 646 individuals and 213 member firms, up from 20 firms that made up the membership in summer 2012.

The Council has also built an effective working relationship with government and regulators, as well as other areas of the financial services industry, as housing wealth is increasingly viewed on a holistic level within later life planning, while maintaining its strong focus on consumer protection.

David Burrowes, incoming chairman of the Equity Release Council comments: “As a society we face significant challenges in addressing the impact of an ageing population, rising social care needs and inadequate pension funds. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, I firmly believe that equity release can play a major role in helping older people meet those challenges and improve their financial outlook in later life.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work on behalf of the sector and will put the best interests of the consumer at the core of our future work. I hope to use my experience gained in Parliament to further this cause and to build the profile of equity release with a diverse range of stakeholders across industry, government and regulators.

“I also commend Nigel Waterson for his service to The Council over the past six years. The equity release market has been strengthened during this period, buoyed by a growing membership and increased competition. I look forward to working with the board and engaging with those within industry as we build on the significant progress to date.”

Nigel Waterson, outgoing chairman of the Equity Release Council, said: “It has been a huge privilege to serve as the first Chairman of The Council and oversee its evolution since 2012.

“The momentum generated within the sector is testament to members’ continued commitment to innovation and the Council’s standards that have established a safe and reliable market for consumers.

“It is also clear that equity release is set to play an increasingly important role in financial planning for retirement as a growing number of older homeowners consider enhancing their retirement by unlocking housing wealth.

“With an excellent reputation to date as a dedicated campaigner, lawmaker and influencer, David has all the right attributes required to lead the Council on the next stage of its journey and I congratulate him warmly on his appointment.”