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Abbey plans 2008 return to equity-release market

Abbey is considering a return to equity-release lending after quitting the sector two years ago.

The firm already funds a number of other equity-release players, including recently launched Stonehaven, but plans to offer its own products again, probably from next year.

Abbey moved into equity release in July 2003 with a pilot offering and was a member of Safe Home Income Plans. But its service gradually wound down off and it quit Ship in November 2005. Other high-street players such as Barclays, HBOS and Nationwide are understood to be keeping a close eye on the market.

Abbey for Intermediaries managing director Ricky Okey says: “Equity release is more than buying a mortgage product. Special advice is extremely important. It is a growing market segment that could get much bigger and if it is good for the customer, we would want to get involved.

See article on market share

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