Portman Building Society is entering the equity-release market by offering a lifetime mortgage.
Although initially available only through its branches and call centre, the society says it is considering extending the product to IFAs.
It says branch staff have been trained on the product and the market, which can be complex, so it is focusing the mortgage on that channel but will look at extending it to intermediaries once it gauges demand.
Portman has just completed a regional pilot of the product in 27 branches in Dorset and Hampshire and says it is going national to capitalise on the increasing number of retired people aged over 65 with equity tied up in their houses.
Voluntary regulator Safe Home Income Plans has app-roved the product which Portman says offers the best fixed rate on the market at 7.09 per cent compared with Legal & General's rate of 7.19 per cent and Norwich Union's rate of 7.55 per cent.
Portman press officer Lynsey Hallam says: “We are offering the best fixed-rate equity-release mortgage on the market.
“Add to this the no negative equity guarantee and homeowners will struggle to find a better all-round fixed deal.”