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Abbey Nat gets on board Ship

Abbey National has joined Safe Home Income Plans, the voluntary regulator for equity-release providers.

It brings the total Ship membership to 13. The bank will be bound by Ship&#39s code of conduct, which includes the requirement for a client&#39s independent solicitor to sign a certificate of agreement before a sale can be completed.

Equity release is a rapidly growing market, which many commentators predict will boom in the coming years.

There have been several new entrants into the market, including Abbey and Portman Building Society, in the last year and Ship recently reported its members enjoyed a combined 49 per cent increase in new business in 2002. It also expects this year to be the first for business to surpass the £1bn mark from the current level of around £852m.

Ship chairman Jon King says: “We are delighted to welcome Abbey National. They have joined us hard on the heels of other leading providers, including Legal & General Bank and the Portman and Stroud & Swindon Building Societies, all of whom have become members in the past 12 months.”

Abbey National head of mortgage marketing Guy Aldwinkle says: “We are pleased to have become a member of Ship, which we feel has a very important role to play in the future of equity release and provides a key service both for lenders and consumers.”

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