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Pru &#39considering debut in equity-release market&#39

Prudential is considering entering the equity-release market as soon as June in a bid to take advantage of one of the few rapidly growing business areas, say sources close to the provider.

The news comes only two weeks after the Pru increased rates and revoked guaranteed premiums on pipeline and new critical-illness policies, leading many IFAs to vow never to do business with it again.

It is thought the Pru&#39s proposition will see it active in both the home reversionary and mortgage-linked equity-release areas.

However, sources say the Pru has not yet approached voluntary regulator Safe Home Income Plans about joining its code of practice, which is usually common practice among new entrants.

Wilbury Financial Management partner Garry Spencer says: “I am a bit surprised they are considering launching into a new product area so soon after what they did two weeks ago. I certainly feel we cannot trust them and for equity release will continue to look elsewhere to proven players.”

Britannic Retirement Solutions head of corporate communications Jim Boyd says: “My understanding is a major provider is set to enter the equity-release market. If that is the case, we would welcome it wholeheartedly.”

Prudential spokesman Paul Keeble says: “Equity release is a very interesting market with potential. But as you know, we do not comment on market speculation or rumour.”

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