Tories plan help for older borrowers

The Government will appoint a minister to stop lenders unfairly discriminating against older borrowers if it wins the general election.

Ros Altmann, the Government’s older workers’ champion, will be made a peer and appointed as a minister responsible for financial consumer protection and education if the Conservatives are in government after the election.

Part of Altmann’s remit will be to improve rights for older consumers, especially in the mortgage market.

She will also lead a review of the pension reforms, including the future of the Money Advice Service and whether a charge cap should be introduced on pension products.

Altmann says: “I have worked so hard for so many years to help ordinary pension savers and expose injustice. I’ve been calling for financial fairness and trying to make pensions and savings work better for ordinary people.

“I hope I will now have a chance to ensure customers are treated more fairly and are better educated, informed and protected.”

Prime minister David Cameron says: “We’re taking the country’s leading expert on pensions, on savings, on financial education – Ros Altmann – and saying that, if we’re re-elected, she’ll be at the heart of government, making sure we complete this great revolution where we’re giving people much more power to save, to access their pension, to pass their pension on to their children, because we want to create a real savings culture in our country for everybody. Not for the rich at the top but for everybody who saves or has a pension.”

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “This is good news, to have someone who will take an outside point of view on where we have got to [with lending into retirement]. There are lots of reasons why we have reached the point where maximum age is such an issue but this will help to give a different viewpoint and perhaps haul it back in favour of the borrower to a greater degree.”