Equity release gets the Trevor McDonald treatment

The equity release market is to come under intense scrutiny next Monday, when ITV’s Tonight with Trevor McDonald takes a look at the sector before it comes under Financial Services Authority regulation in April.

The programme focuses on pensioners who were sold unsuitable equity release products in the past and are still paying the price.

ITVs experts say there is currently 400bn worth of property owned by retired people in the UK and they predict that this untapped capital could lead to the equity release market doubling in the next year.

One case study interviewed for the programme has been forced to move into a mobile home after one such product backfired.

Another couple featured on the show have debts that have increased ten fold after taking out a home income plan in the eighties.

Two children of parents who took out a plan have lost 90% of their inheritance as a result of another scheme.

The programme airs next Monday at 8pm on ITV1.