Royal London takes 30% stake in equity release provider

Jenna Brown reports

Royal London has taken a 30% stake in equity release provider Responsible Group as it predicts later life lending “will become a core part of financial planning”.

The mutual insurer said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would include both Responsible Life and Responsible Lending businesses.

Royal London entered the later life lending market in September last year when it partnered with Responsible Life to launch Royal London Later Life Lending. It will now take a minority stake in the firm.

Group chief executive Barry O’Dwyer 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.”

Responsible Group executive chairman Steve Wilkie added: “The investment from Royal London is another exciting chapter in our company’s growth story. 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.”

Earlier this month, Royal London separately acquired financial technology business Wealth Wizards from rival provider LV=, which it said demonstrated its commitment to advisers and the increasing demand for technology-enabled solutions.