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Read our Blog for more information on The History of Bower.
Bower Retirement is more than an established and trusted company. It is a close-knit group of financial experts who thoroughly understand the market, the economy and the latest regulations.
Most importantly, we understand how to use this knowledge and expertise to help you get to where you want to be.
Each of our expert advisers work really hard to make sure you receive the highest quality independent financial guidance and support – without any pressure to proceed.
In fact, we would always advise you not to go ahead than provide you with the wrong product or service.
And it’s this dedication to customer care that really sets us apart.
We want to make sure you always feel in control of what you’re doing. We want you to feel absolutely confident that you made the right decision for your financial future – whether that includes an equity release plan or not.
From the moment you contact the team at our friendly contact centre, to meeting your dedicated adviser in person for the first time and eventually making your decision, we will be there with you and for you every step of the way..
More about the history of Bower
In June 2016 we celebrated our 10th anniversary. Naturally, there were a few champagne corks popping into the air that month! But it also started us thinking about the journey we’d been on together as a family.
Bower started out in the village Havering-atte-Bower, where our CEO, Geoff Charles grew up – just 15 minutes from our head office in Ongar, Essex. The word ‘bower’ can mean ‘shelter’ or ‘protection’, which is exactly what Geoff wanted to provide his customers ten years ago and it’s what we all give our customers today.
Back then, when Bower Mortgage Company started in 2006, we focused on advising and arranging mortgages and protection policies. Later that year we expanded our service to offer advice on Equity Release, trading as Bower Retirement Services.
In 2011 we moved from our small office in Brentwood to a much larger space at The Gables in Ongar.
From a handful of staff back then to now employing over 50, we’re still steadily growing. In fact, as our name has spread we’ve grown from being county-wide to country-wide and we how have expert advisors in all parts of the UK including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Our Board of Directors include several notable long-standing and respected titans in the industry, including Jon King, our Chairman, formerly Chairman of SHIP who has held directorships with Hodge Lifetime and More2Life. Andrea Rozario, our Director and Chief Corporate Officer, has a long history in the equity release market, being also formerly Director General of the Equity Release Council and its predecessor SHIP. Peter Mila is our Chief Operating Officer and our Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Charles, received the industry award of Outstanding Contribution to the Industry in 2011.
Bower also works closely with the Equity Release Council and have a seat on their Consumer Protection Working Group.
Over the years, we are proud to say we have received numerous yearly awards for the best equity release advice, voted for both the public and our industry partners.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016 Bower Retirement was accredited as a Gold Trusted Merchant by Feefo, our review site partner, and we still hold an incredible 100% customer satisfaction for all of our reviews.
So to the future. In 2016, we grew our services by launching Bower Private Clients and establishing new Legal Partnerships.
Our Partnership division, headed by Clara Curtis, maintains an ever-expanding network of introducer partners. Andrea Rozario is continuously working with the mainstream and industry media as both a commentator and writer, often featuring in the national press. In fact, Bower is often quoted in newspapers including the Times, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
It’s been an incredible 10 years for Bower, but we all feel that this is only the start. We thank all our customers for contributing to our success and we look forward to growing our business to help even more people in more ways.
Trust, honesty and service. These qualities have always been at the heart of who Bower is as a company and as a family of experts. And we’re proud to say they always will be.
After our initial conversation we’ll arrange a visit from one of our experts who’ll come to your home. You can invite friends or family along too, and you can all ask as many questions as you want to.
Your adviser will talk through all the advantages and disadvantages of each type of plan available, and will explain what you need to consider (such as how a plan will reduce the amount of inheritance you leave).
We will never put you under any pressure to proceed. In fact, we don’t even expect you to make any decisions at this point. It’s simply an opportunity for us to meet and talk.
If you’re happy with everything we’ve discussed, your adviser will pop back in a few days with a full recommendation of the best option for you (this may or may not include an equity release plan).
If equity release is recommended then we’ll show you which plans you qualify for, which one we recommended, exactly how much you could release and all the costs involved. That way you’re clear on everything.
If you are 100% satisfied with everything, your adviser will take you through the papers you need to sign to get things started.
Your dedicated adviser will take care of everything from start to finish.
They will work hard on your behalf to ensure the whole process runs as smoothly as possible, liaising with your chosen solicitor and your lender when necessary to keep things moving along.
They will always be there to answer any of your questions. And as part of our service and transparent way of working, we will keep you updated with everything so you know how your case is progressing, and how close you are to receiving your money.
It’s really as simple as that.
If you decide to go ahead with the suggested equity release we will work with you to ensure:
1) The efficient management of the release of your cash
We’ll keep you fully informed of the process every step of the way.
2) Complete peace of mind that everything is being taken care of by experts
We’ll deal directly with your equity release solicitor and equity release provider to move things along so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
3) Regulated responsibility
When you deal with Bower Retirement you are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, by our own regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and by the Equity Release Council.
4) Our direct relationship with your solicitor
We’ll provide your equity release solicitor with a copy of your personalised report so they’re fully aware of your situation before signing your SHIP certificate.
5) On-going lifelong after care
In the future, you may need advice or assistance concerning your Equity Release plan. We can provide you with a lifelong after-care service and you can keep in touch with us for as many years as you wish to ensure you’re constantly and completely satisfied with your plan.
Bower Retirement is your specialist in retirement lending. And we are absolutely dedicated to ensuring you receive the very best service throughout your journey with us.
No pressure: Your specialist will explain everything during your first appointment and then leave you to make a decision in your own time. There is never any pressure to proceed, just genuine support and friendly, expert advice from a company you can trust.
Jargon-free: We want you to feel empowered and confident that you know everything you need to know about the products you are considering. That’s why we speak directly and truthfully without any technical jargon or complicated industry terms.
Specialists: Our expert advisers are highly trained specialists in the field of retirement lending. With an impressive record of expertise and qualifications, you will always receive high quality, professional advice. Your individual needs will always come before a sale, and if our specialists do not think a particular product is right for you, they will advise you on your alternatives.
Here for you: When you call Bower during office hours you’ll speak to one of our friendly team members here in our UK-based contact centre (we don’t like automated phone systems any more than you do). Plus, once you have met with your local adviser you can simply call them in person whenever you have a question. It’s all part of our award-winning, bespoke service designed around your specific needs.
‘At home’ service: With Bower, you never need to leave your home to speak to one of our specialists. We will either come out to see you there, or you can speak to us over the phone whichever works best for you.