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Barclays eyes equity release

Barclays is considering a move into equity release which could push the sector into the mainstream.

HBOS is also looking at equity release although it has no imminent plans to enter the market.

Norwich Union has revealed it is acting as a consultant to a number of its distribution partners, which include Barclays, that are keen to enter the market. This has raised speculation that Barclays might white-label or distribute NU’s equity-release product.

Several industry commentators have called for more players to offer lifetime mortgages and home-reversion plans to help drive down prices.

Barclays spokeswoman Ellie Waters says: “We are looking at the equity-release market.”

HBOS spokesman Paul Fincham says: “We are keeping a watching brief.”

NU personal finance sales and marketing director Daren Carter says: “It will be great to see some of the high-street banks in the market. I will be very surprised if there were not more players coming in and we have had high-street names talking to us to see if we can help.”

Just Retirement director of sales Andrew Megson says: “We would encourage household names to come into the market as it will increase competition that will benefit the consumer. There is no doubt there is enormous potential for the market.”

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