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SHERPA Appoints Executive Secretary

Media Release
15 May 2006

For Immediate Release

SHERPA Appoints Executive Secretary

SHERPA, the Safe Home Equity Release Plans Association, is pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Dowler as Executive Secretary.

Mr Dowler has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry with a specialisation in compliance. He already fulfils a similar part-time secretarial role for the Securities Industries Association.

In his role, Rob will work closely with the emerging Home Equity Release (HER) industry and also with the Office for Senior Citizens, which is looking to develop a regulatory framework for HER.

Asked whether SHERPA’s role in providing a voluntary code of practice would be redundant once there was a regulatory framework, Mr Dowler said: “No. Jjust as in markets such as the United Kingdom which had the voluntary SHIP (Safe Home Income Plans) code for many years before a new regulatory framework was introduced in 2004, we see them working side by side.

“The regulatory framework concentrates very much on disclosure whilst the voluntary code goes further in defining features that a product should have to be viewed as ‘safe’. An example is the No Negative Equity Guarantee – the United Kingdom regulations require a supplier to state whether or not such a guarantee is offered while the SHIP code requires that there is one before a supplier can describe its product as SHIP compliant.”

Mr Dowler continued, “We also have to recognise how long it might take to get a regulatory framework in place – possibly at least two years. In the meantime it is essential to have a voluntary code in place.”

SHERPA also welcomes the Financial Planners and Insurance Advisers Association (FPIA), as an associate member, pledged to supporting the code of practice.


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