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Axa looks to set up equity release product

Axa has revealed it will be exploring opportunities in the equity-release market with a view to a potential product launch by 2011.

Chief executive Paul Evans says the firm is “looking at the sector with interest”.

He says: “This year has seen a lot of changes and developments at Axa with the launch of Architas, our multi-manager proposition, and the development of our wrap. We will look at the equity-release market in 2009 with a view to a possible launch in 2010 or 2011.”

Equity Advice managing partner Stuart Wilson says: “Axa is a big organisation and, reading between the lines, I suspect that the equity-release market is not large enough for it yet but it probably will be in a few years time.

“I think equity release is likely to be increasingly on the political radar as the state burden of long-term care becomes a battleground between the parties and this will raise consumer awareness of the product.”

Safe Home Income Plans director general Andrea Rozario says: “Given that Axa is such an established brand, it would be good to see them enter the market sooner rather than later to offer more consumer choice and drive the sector forward.”

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