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Nationwide says it will consider equity release

Nationwide Building Society has tempered its hands-off approach to the equity-release market, saying it will consider it in the future when it sees how the market develops.

The society has not been shy to voice its concerns about equity release, saying the product could become the next misselling scandal.

But speaking to Money Marketing, chief executive Philip Williamson revealed that Nationwide would be looking at equity release again once it sees how the market develops. He says he is pleased with the Treasury&#39s decision to include home-reversion plans in the regulation of equity release along with lifetime mortgages.

Trade and consumer bodies, providers and brokers have campaigned hard for home reversion to be regulated, arguing that failing to include it would not create a level playing field.

Brokers generally believe that the entrance of a well-regarded lender such as Nationwide would boost the overall reputation of the equity-release market and would remove negativity still attached to it after the problems with shared appreciation mortgages in the late 1990s and home-income plans in the late 1980s.

Williamson says: “We have always adopted a cautious approach. We are pleased that the FSA has decided to regulate the sector and we will look at it again when we see how the market develops.”

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