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Waterson: FSA stance on equity release ‘outdated’

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 This approach is a bit outdated and needs to be looked at again.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.”

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Kunal Desai, Head of Indian Equities, discusses his expectations for the Indian market and highlights the key indicators that he is watching for 2015.

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  1. Julian Stevens 31st May 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Nigel Waterson was the face of the Conservative party’s pre-election manifesto promises to put right all the damage done to the pensions framework by 25 years of ill-informed and destructive government meddling. But he didn’t win his seat, so the post of pensions minister went instead to Steve Webb who’s overseen the imposition of absolutely nothing since but yet more damage.

    If Steve Webb cannot see just how totally turned off by pensions the British public are or, if he can but is completely impotent in terms of actually getting anything done about it, then he really is a waste of ministerial space.

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