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Nationwide rules out equity-release plan

Nationwide Building Society will not enter the equity rel-ease market

until a level playing field is created, where the entire sector,

including reversionary plans and not just mortgage products, is

regulated by the FSA.

At an equity release seminar chaired by Conservative shadow paymaster

general Stephen O&#39Brien MP in London this week, Nationwide consultant

Mark Titterington said the company does not have a home reversionary

product and in the present climate is unwilling to develop one.

Nationwide said barriers to entry include whether the FSA can come up

with a def-inition of misselling to cover home reversionary plans and

a quality assurance mark.

Britannic Retirement Solutions says the enormous potential of the

equity release market, with 3.8 million homes in the UK owned

outright by people over 65, is being held back by the reluctance of

such reputable providers to enter the market.

The Consumers&#39 Association, Age Concern, Help the Aged and the ABI

all joined the call for full regulation, with the CA warning that the

alternative “will be misselling without question”.

The ABI has set up a working group of members providing equity

release and will put its case for complete regulation in its response

to the Pension&#39s Green Paper this week.

All parties agreed that regulation should make the provision of

advice necessary in equity release transactions, with Help the Aged

saying: “People need shedloads of advice from people who are


Conservative Shadow Chancellor Michael Howard said: “If something can

be done to save people from the unscrupulous, then it should be.

“We are not normally in favour of more regulation but never advocate

the position of no regulation.”


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