Criterion delivers standards for process and data integration, that supports the UK Financial Services industry in working together to serve customers better. The organisations AIR, Canada Life, IRESS, Just, L&G, LV, Key Advice, More2Life and Scottish Widows are participating in the important piece of industry work, with more companies expected to become involved. Criterion joined the Equity Release Council in 2021.

The industry collaboration has progressed, and Criterion has published its final draft of API Standards for the digital integration of Quotes and KFI processes between providers and advisers. Criterion worked with key process stakeholders to develop designs originally created by Iress, to support a wider range of medical and lifestyle quote and KFI scenarios.

The resulting API ‘templates’, available free of charge from Criterion’s website, make it easier than ever for providers and advisers to realise the benefits of digitally integrating these critical high-volume processes. Industry adoption is already under way, and Criterion will continue to work with industry stakeholders to evolve and refine these design Standards over the coming months and years, so that APIs keep pace with consumer needs and industry innovation.

Billy Burnside, Managing Director of Criterion, says:

We draw on a long history of delivering Standards and Governance, so are well placed to help Equity Release participants. Criterion is uniquely positioned through its independence and levels of experience, to support and manage the overall collective interests of a group of industry organisations, who recognise the value from third-party governance on cross-industry initiatives.

Criterion work with key stakeholders in the Equity Release market, to manage Standards for APIs that meet the needs of the whole market. This means that a single API build can be deployed with many trading partners, cutting out wasteful redevelopment. API technologies have contributed to an explosion in data integration, making it easier and quicker to get the right data to the right place at the right time, to support the right business process. Technologies like JSON and OpenAPI have made development and deployment of APIs easier than ever. It is nevertheless quicker and more cost efficient to build a service once and deploy it with many trading partners, rather than to rebuild it or refine it time after time to meet their differing needs.

We have a proven track record in supporting ongoing Standards evolution to reflect market dynamics and regulatory change and are well versed in stewardship of standards, change management and governance – all essential in ensuring sustainability. That’s why all of our Standards are managed through collaboration with market participants and other stakeholders.”


Iress is a technology company providing software to the financial services industry, whose software is used by more than 9,000 businesses and 500,000 users globally. 

Iress, working closely with lenders, originally implemented the first versions of the Equity Release message designs to deliver accurate quotes, KFIs and online applications. As this has become established, there is now a need for a central control of message standards.  With a wealth of experience from other product lines, we are pleased that Criterion has now become the custodian ensuring consistency and quality is applied universally. This will enable a more extensive rollout across the market, and enable fair comparison and streamlined adviser journeys to be taken forward.
Dave Miller, Executive General Manager (Commercial), Iress