The Treasury has published a consultation document seeking views on whether the sale of home reversion plans should be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
Financial Secretary Ruth Kelly says: "The target market for home reversion plans tends to be elderly people who have paid off their mortgage. Whilst informal discussions with stakeholders have provided no evidence of consumer detriment, the market is growing rapidly. It is therefore sensible to consult now on whether the sale of such plans should come within the scope of regulation by the FSA.
"The purpose of the consultation is to arrive at a more in depth analysis of the costs and benefits of regulation. We are seeking information on the wider equity release market and any evidence of consumer detriment in the selling of reversion plans, as well as views on the possible impact of regulation."
The consultation period extends until 31 January 2004.