Former Tory shadow pensions minister Nigel Waterson has called for the FSA to soften its stance on equity release, as Safe Home Income Plans relaunches as the Equity Release Council.
On Saturday, equity-release trade body Ship confirmed plans to change its name following the decision to expand its membership to include advisers, lawyers, surveyors and other interested parties. Under its previous set-up, the organisation only allowed equity-release providers to become members.
The ERC plans to work with its membership to devise a broader code of conduct for the equity-release sector to improve trust in the product.
The FSA has previously taken a negative view of equity-release advice. In May 2005, it outlined concerns about the suitability of advice given to consumers.
Speaking to Money Marketing, Waterson (pictured), who is chairman of the ERC, says: “The FSA still views equity release as high risk. This approach is a bit outdated and needs to be looked at again.
“We hope the FSA will be more comfortable with advisers who have our kitemark because we add an extra layer of regulation and governance.”
An FSA spokesman says: “There is scope for reform in this area and the mortgage market review consultation in December confirmed our intention to make changes such as compulsory advice for every equity-release sale.”