Royal London, the UK’s largest life, pensions and investment mutual, has acquired a 30% stake in later life lending and product specialists Responsible Life and Responsible Lending (Responsible Group). The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Both companies believe the later life lending market has significant growth potential as it offers customers with equity in their homes additional choices at retirement, be it to supplement their income, gift capital to family, or invest in improving their homes or achieving lifetime goals. This is a particularly important option for those who have equity in their property but not enough pension savings to support their desired standard of living in retirement. Referring clients to a specialist adviser can be a sensible choice for advisers who wish to make later life lending an important part of holistic financial planning.
Acquiring a stake in Responsible Group will enable Royal London to participate in an important, growing market and support Responsible Group to continue delivering innovative later life solutions for all their partners. This strengthens the existing partnership between the two companies which commenced in September 2020 with the launch of a jointly branded later life lending service.
Barry O’Dwyer, Group CEO of Royal London said,
“Since equity release became a regulated market, accessible through specialist advice, customers can now access good quality products. We believe that later life lending will become a core part of financial planning. Our relationship with Responsible Group will allow us to broaden their reach while ensuring existing clients remain supported. Financial advisers have a great opportunity to access support from Responsible Group’s specialist advisers, which will benefit both them and their clients.
We are impressed by Responsible Group’s track record and excited by its potential for future growth. We share their passion for improving the lives of customers in retirement and look forward to supporting their ambitious plans.”
Steve Wilkie, Executive Chairman of Responsible Group said,
“We are delighted to find in Royal London a partner that truly shares our passion to improve the lives of customers in retirement by giving them straightforward, affordable access to the equity in their homes.
The investment from Royal London is another exciting chapter in our company’s growth story as we continue to be at the vanguard of the development of the later life lending sector, improving products, and breaking down barriers for customers. We share common values and a commitment to working with our industry colleagues and the financial adviser community to offer broader participation in this sector.
The further commitment of a brand like Royal London to the later life lending market is an important endorsement of the growing role that equity release and retirement mortgages play in responsible financial planning. We look forward to working together, and with all our distribution partners, to help more customers enjoy later life lending solutions in the years ahead.”
About Royal London
Royal London is the largest mutual life insurance, pensions and investment company in the UK, with assets under management of £148 billion, 8.8 million policies in force and 4,412 employees. Figures quoted are as at 31 December 2020.
About Responsible Group
Responsible Group comprises the later life mortgage broker Responsible Life, and the lifetime mortgage provider, Responsible Lending.
Founded in 2010, the Responsible name was chosen to highlight our obligations and duty of care to customers throughout their lifetime — evidenced by our gold standard for advice, with comprehensive suitability reviews in 100% of lifetime cases. Since then, Responsible Life has helped over 500,000 people decide if releasing equity in their home is the right decision. As the first company to introduce an advice service covering all the later life lending product types available to over-55s, Responsible Life has positioned itself as a consumer champion dedicated to finding the right solution for customers.
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