The Equity Release Council (ERC) has launched a member endorsement mark as part of a brand refresh.

The council said that the endorsement will act as a recognisable statement of quality that offers confidence and reassurance for consumers by embodying members’ commitment to quality and professionalism in the products and services they offer.

Members can use the new endorsement mark immediately, and the council is encouraging them to adopt it as soon as practical, with a grace period which runs throughout 2021 during which time members are permitted to use the previous logo.

Jim Boyd, CEO of the Equity Release Council, said: “Over the course of 30 years of setting consumer-focused standards, the equity release market has been transformed to become part of mainstream conversations about funding later life.

“Today’s product range offers flexible finance to older homeowners, backed by robust safeguards and protections.

“At a time when people are living longer lives and have an unprecedented choice of options to release equity at affordable rates, our new member endorsement mark provides a sign of quality, professionalism and trust, by demonstrating to potential customers that members are committed to best practice in the products and services they offer.”

The council also launched a new Competency Framework for advisers last month and has developed other adviser resources to support good practice across the market.

These milestones come at a time of significant growth in the council’s membership. Over the past year, more than 100 firms have joined the organisation, taking the total number of member firms to 586, while individual membership has grown by almost 200 to reach 1,454.