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Pru predicts equity release will double in two years

Prudential believes the equity-release sector is likely to double in the next two years to well above 2bn.

Lifetime mortgage director Ali Crossley says such a rise is well below what many would hope for but is realistic.

Pru launches its direct-sales team of 20 equity-release advisers next week and plans to grow the team to 100 by the end of 2007. It says it developed the service because of the lack of IFAs in the sector and to compete against other providers.

Equity Advice head Stuart Wilson said last month that the growth of the direct market would help attract intermediaries by stimulating consumer demand with trusted brands.

Safe Home Income Plans says total lending for its members was 1.13bn for the year to June 30, 2006.

Crossley says: “We will create more awareness by creating the salesforce. That will eventually help grow the market and help drive the independent advice route. I think it will grow by 100 per cent over the next two years.”

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