More than 100 intermediaries attended each of the six CPD-accredited webinars held by Hodge Bank during lockdown.

The webinars were aimed at brokers who are already in or are considering entering the later life lending market, to help them learn more or branch out during a difficult time for the industry.

They were free to attend, and covered topics such as equity release and retirement interest only (RIO) mortgages, as well as an overview of the compliance considerations for these products.

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One of the sessions also covered COVID-19 and addressed the challenges of lending during the pandemic.

Emma Graham, business development director at Hodge, said: “The later life market has seen continual growth over the past few years, and despite the massive upheaval the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, we expect that to continue.

“The lockdown has been particularly hard for younger buyers, as more providers have lowered their loan to value ratios meaning that they will have to save more of a deposit to get a foot on the property ladder.

“We think that many parents and grandparents will be looking to later Life products to give their young family members a financial helping hand post COVID.

“At Hodge, we also believe that for far too long the later life market has only been seen predominantly as equity release products, when there is much more to it.

“So we wanted to take the opportunity to give brokers greater knowledge of the whole later life market, to not only help brokers expand into this ever popular area during these difficult times, but also to help them have more informed conversations with their younger customers on the options available to them and their wider, older family members.

“We believe that family finances are intrinsically linked, and so brokers should take stock of all circumstances when advising someone.”

One attendee was David Beach, financial adviser at Finhawk Mortgages. He said: “During lockdown I’ve attended a number of webinars and the Hodge ‘Lending into Later Life’ webinar programme was amongst the best.

“I would recommend the programme to any adviser looking to know more about the later life lending market.”

Graham added: “We were overwhelmed by the response – it was a new way of working for Hodge, so we were really testing the waters initially.

“But with over 100 people attending each one, it was clear that the demand was there, particularly for those who don’t usually deal with the later life lending market.”