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Code of Conduct



Purpose of the Code of Conduct

SAHERPA Members undertake to adhere to the Code of Conduct provided below within their organisations and as a basis for conducting business in the context of providing Home Equity Release products as one of the conditions of membership of SAHERPA.


SAHERPA membership will be terminated in the event of SAHERPA members being found to be non-compliant with the Code of Conduct, or in the event of their failing to remedy such compliance within a reasonable period as stipulated by SAHERPA.



The Code of Conduct

i) Undertake to treat clients with honesty, dignity and respect at all times.

ii) The members of SAHERPA agree to provide fair, simple and complete presentation of their plans.

iii) The benefits, obligations, variables and limitations of the product must clearly be set out in their literature, including all costs which the applicant has to bear, the position on moving, the general tax implication, the likely impact on the estate and the effect of changes in house values and interest rates.

iv) Provide clear, no-cost information that allows clients to obtain necessary information to decide whether to proceed or not.

v) Make us of distribution and or sales channels that are authorised Financial Services Providers and furthermore ensure that the individuals that represent the distribution and or sales channels and interact with clients will be at least "fit and proper" according to FAIS, but also have demonstrated product specific competence and have been accredited as such by the product provider.

vi) Encourage the client to discuss the product/transaction with relevant members of the family.

vii) Guarantee security of tenure, provided that all terms and conditions of the specific product have been met by the client.

viii) All product providers contractually commit to provide a 'no negative equity' or 'non-recourse' guarantee i.e. you will never owe more than the net realisable value of your home, provided the terms and conditions of the loan have been met.

ix) With the exception of home-owners insurance as envisaged in Section 106 (1)(b)(i) of the Narional Credit Act, and with the further exception of property valuation and conveyancing services, not assert or imply that any client or prospective client needs to make use of any product or service associated with any product supplier, or any other company for that matter, irrespective of whether such other company is or is not associated with the product supplier in any way.

x) To the extent that there are no other over-riding bodies or legislation, submit to the dispute resolution and complaint resolution facilities provided by SAHERPA in the event of disputes or complaints arising with clients.

xi) Require that the distribution and / or sales channels deployed by the product provider, and in turn the individuals that represent the distribution and / or sales channels and interact with clients and prospective clients, adhere to this same Code of Conduct, with the exception of points vii and viii as these issues would pertain exclusively to the product supplier.


You should let us know if our members do not live up to this committment. Does your Home Equity Release loan provider adhere to SAHERPA's Code of Conduct?



Audit and Compliance

In order to join SAHERPA, Home Equity Release loan providers need to commit to adhere to the standards required of SAHERPA as far as the abovementioned Code of Conduct is concerned. If they provide a written undertaking that they do and will continue to comply, SAHERPA will have an audit conducted in order to determine the extent to which their products and associated processes adhere to the Code of Conduct.

In the event of it being confirmed that the loan provider adheres to the Code of Conduct, the loan provider will immediately be accredited, subject to the payment of the required SAHERPA membership fees. Accredited supplier members should demonstrate their status by way of our "seal of approval". 

In the event of the loan provider being found to be non-compliant with the Code of Conduct, the reasons for non-compliance would be communicated to the loan provider, and the loan provider would be given a period of 3 months in order to rectify such non-compliance. In the event of the non-compliance then being rectified, the applicant would then be accredited. In the event of the non-compliance not being rectified, clearly, the applicant would not be accredited.


On a yearly basis thereafter, SAHERPA will conduct annual compliance audits. The purpose of these compliance audits is to check, on a sample basis, that SAHERPA members have in fact been conducting themselves in accordance with the committments that they have made in terms of the Code of Conduct.


Non-compliance in the context of these annual audits would be dealt with in a similar manner to their original applications for accreditation, which would give rise to their SAHERPA membership being suspended in the event of them not satisfactorily explaining such non-compliance and rectifying the same within a 3 month period of the non-compliance being detected.


We take both of these issues very seriously, as, the failure to maintain appropriate standards in this regard would compromise one of our specific aims, namely the protection of consumers that consider making use of Home Equity Release products.