Is there a need to look at more long-term products in equity release?
If you look at other markets like annuities, you have a standard annuity rate and then the impaired enhanced products. Equity release is at the earlier stage of that in terms of looking at other factors, not just age.
Is there a need for greater innovation in the sector?
I think there is. For me the next big thing that no-one has cracked is the care market – using equity release to cater for borrowers’ social care needs. There are some structural issues with the treatment of housing assets while owners remain in their home, which is complicated. Councils have to work out whether individuals hit the requirements.
But there is a misunderstanding about what local authorities are going to provide in terms of care so people do end up living in more straitened circumstances than they otherwise would.
Are more consumers aware of equity release these days?
They should be but the reality is that the awareness among the public remains low. The recent structural changes at Safe Home Income Plans will reinforce the protections in the market, which will improve consumer confidence.
You are training to do three legs of an Iron Man on separate days – what inspired you to do that?
There was no cohesive plan, it just crept up on me and I’ve ended up in the middle of training looking forward to the end of it – I’m an accidental triathlete. In May I’m doing the Belfast Marathon, then a 3.8km swim in Reading and a 109 mile bike ride. I’m raising money for PROP, a Bristol-based charity that supports young adults with severe learning difficulties. You can sponsor me at www.justgiving.com/gedhosty.
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Carlos Tevez because I think he has a great work-life balance and I speak as a Manchester City fan, former rugby player Brian Moore to discuss the scrummaging laws with him and to Billy Connolly to lighten the atmosphere.
What book are you currently reading?
Beware Of The Dog which is Brian Moore’s autobiography. You expect it to be one rugby battle after another but it shows a surprising level of self-awareness.
Interview by Robert Thickett