KRS says ITV programme mis-represented equity release

Key Retirement Solutions says that yesterday’s progamme Tonight with Trevor McDonald was a mis-represention of the equity release market.

Last night Tonight with Trevor McDonald on ITV, looked at the equity release market in the UK over the last two decades.

Dean Mirfin, business development director at Key Retirement Solutions, says: “The equity release market has changed significantly over the past 10 years, to a place that is unrecognisable from that discussed on Monday night’s Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme.

“In the last decade, self-regulation of the industry via Safe Home Income Plans has meant that many measures are in place to protect the consumer.

“As a result, no consumer can lose their home (i.e. cannot end up with negative equity), and the loan is totally portable so they can move home at any time.

“People can also remortgage to a better deal after an initial period if interest rates have changed, just like a standard mortgage.

“Added measures are now in place too as, from April, all equity release plans that exist today will be regulated by the Financial Services Authority, as home reversion plans will fall alongside lifetime mortgages under the FSA’s full regulation, meaning that they adhere to treating customers fairly guidelines.

“As an independent and specialist adviser in this market, we have never advised on shared appreciation mortgages and we recognise that even modern equity release plans are not the most appropriate action for everyone wanting to release cash from their home.

“Down-sizing their property to release equity is always an option that we advise people to consider first, and we actively encourage family members to attend meetings with our advisers, so that everyone is aware of the options and any affect these plans may have on any future inheritance from the property.

“We are pleased that the FSA is soon to fully regulate the entire equity release market as this will only bring added confidence to what is a growing and vibrant market.

“We are strong believers that non-one should commit to any form of equity release, without first seeking independent and specialist advice.”