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Air Temperature Check

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Air Temperature Check

New faces appear as air group releases h2 2021 ‘temperature check’ of equity release provider service levels

Air Club, the leading later life services platform, has today (09 February 2022) announced its fourth 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 2021, has been designed to give smaller advisers a collective voice in terms of providing feedback on providers’ service levels and Air Club is using it to work with providers to help improve service standards across the sector.

Over 200 smaller advisers who account for 12% of all equity release business in H2 2021 rated providers they had used on five key service areas and three net promoter factors (see methodology below).

In this fourth iteration of the ‘Temperature Check’, Air Club has outlined the top three in each category – gold, bronze and silver positions. For Overall Service, Canada Life (8.18%) won gold followed closely by Legal & General (8.17) and One Family (8.13) with the top three in each individual service category as follows:

Ease of Application Speed of Pre-offer Processing Speed of Post-Offer Processing
more2life (8.57) Legal & General (8.30) Legal & General (7.89)
Canada Life (8.54) Canada Life (8.18) One Family (7.75)
One Family (8.50) One Family (8.13) Canada Life (7.65)

Communication Online Service
Canada Life (8.05) One Family (8.50)
Legal & General (7.77) Canada Life (8.31)
One Family (7.75) Legal & General (8.08)

Canada Life (75.85%) also won gold in the Net Promoter Score Category followed by Pure Retirement (73.55%) and Legal & General (71.49%):

Would Recommend Values my business Goes the extra mile
One Family (87.50%) Canada Life (77.95%) Canada Life (66.14%)
Legal & General (84.14%) Pure Retirement (77.17%) Just (64.86%)
Canada Life (83.46%) Legal & General (68.97%) One Family (62.50%)

The general theme for those providers making the top in each category is that scores are generally up on the previous iteration of the Temperature Check H1 2021, particularly in terms of Ease of Application, Communication, and Values My Business.

However, there are some notable changes across the categories with One Family in particular moving up into the top rankings. In ‘Ease of Application’, more2life improved its score while Legal & General also improving its scores in ‘Speed of Post-Offer Processing’, Communication and Online Service.

In the ‘Would Recommend’ category, One Family jumps straight into the top position, and also appears in the ‘Goes The Extra Mile’ Category for the first time. Interestingly, they were one of the only other lenders to record an improvement in this category with 6 out of the other 8 lenders recording falls.

The providers whose service levels were reviewed as part of the ‘Temperature Check’ in the second half of 2021 were: Aviva, Canada Life, Legal & General, LV=, Just, One Family, more2life and Pure Retirement. Air Group engages with each lender 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:

“There have been some notable changes in this iteration of the Temperature Check but overall it seems clear that a number of providers have upped their game across a number of key adviser-focused areas.

“Without wanting to necessarily single out individual providers, we must highlight Canada Life who achieved both the highest overall net promoter score and the highest service scores. This is a significant achievement and one that should be applauded.

“We’d also like to highlight One Family, who may represent a small proportion of the market than others, but who are clearly delivering for those advisers who use them. To say those advisers have been ultra-enthusiastic about their ease of use, speed and service offering would be an understatement, and it’s testament to the excellent work that is going on within this provider that they have broken into the top three in so many categories.

“The last six months of 2021 was undoubtedly a very busy time for providers with a significant volume of both new and existing business. It’s clear from the scores and the comments received that some lenders struggled to deal with these challenges.

“Improvements need to be made as there is plenty of growth to come within the later life lending market which broke the £4 billion barrier for the first time last year. This will only be achieved if lenders work with advisers to support customer demand so while some slack can be given for pandemic-related reasons, that can’t be an excuse going forward.

“Overall, however it’s positive to see the range between providers narrowing. We designed this Temperature Check to provide feedback on where the providers measured could improve and it’s certainly possible to see that across many of them in a growing number of categories. This however is an ongoing commitment and needs constant attention in order to keep delivering the service performance advisers and their clients expect.”

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