Air Group release latest half-year ‘Temperature Check’ of Equity Release Provider service levels

Air Group, the leading later life services platform, has today announced its second half-year equity release provider ‘Temperature Check’ report focusing on a number of key service measures, as experienced by advisers.

The ‘Temperature Check’, which in this iteration covers H2 2020, has been designed to give smaller advisers a collective voice in terms of providing feedback on providers’ service levels and Air Group is using it to deliver stronger dialogue in order to improve service standards across the sector.

Over 250 smaller advisers who account for 8% of the plans taken out in H2 2020 rated providers they had used on five key service areas and three net promoter factors.

In this second iteration of the ‘Temperature Check’, Air Group has outlined the top four in each category.

The top four in the Overall Category were: Pure Retirement (8.11 out of 10), more2life (8.07), Legal & General (7.88) and Canada Life (7.86) with the top four in each individual service category as follows:

The top four in the Net Promoter Score Category were: Pure Retirement (86.25%), more2life (80.92%), Canada Life (78.95%), and Legal & General (70.98%) with the individual categories breaking down as:

The providers whose service levels were reviewed as part of the ‘Temperature Check’ in the second half of 2020 were: Aviva, Canada Life, Hodge, Legal & General, LV=, Just, One Family, more2life and Pure Retirement.

Air Group engages with each one to provide feedback on the analysis and ensure the collective voice of the smaller advisers who use its services are heard.

Stuart Wilson, CEO at Air Group, commented: “The second half of last year was an incredibly busy period for all those involved in the equity release sector, as we saw a significant uplift in demand and activity from clients.

“At the same time, we had a necessary shift in working practices, with the vast majority of providers having all their staff working remotely, and of course it did take some time to get used to this and to ensure systems and processes were able to cope with lockdown life and the upsurge in demand.

“Perhaps understandably, this iteration of the ‘Temperature Check’ has seen a number of providers post scores which fall slightly below what they were able to achieve in the first half of the year, which included the Q1 pre-lockdown period.

“Having said that, a number have seen an improvement, and without wanting to necessarily single out individual providers, a special mention should go to Pure Retirement who – in a number of categories – didn’t just break into the top tier but hit the highest position, specifically in terms of communication and the speed of its post-offer process.

“And more2life, Legal & General and Canada Life all maintained their positions at the top of the rankings, with good scores across all areas.

“With each provider being given a detailed report on how they scored and a debrief from Air Group, we want to ensure the feedback provided is taken away and, where possible, changes and improvements are made to improve the adviser experience.

“The ‘Temperature Check’ is undoubtedly aimed at providing quality feedback to providers from advisers, giving them a collective voice and offering providers a number of specific areas to work on so that scores right across the board might be improved, and the service experience for advisers and their clients can be enhanced.

“We congratulate all those providers who made our ‘Top Four’ during what was an eventful six months, to say the very least. As we all know, November saw a further lockdown at a time when transactions were appreciably up; a situation which we currently find ourselves in once again.

“We’ll continue to use the ‘Temperature Check’ to allow advisers to express their views, and in order to work with providers to help drive up service standards and outputs to the highest level possible.”