SHIP launches key equity release debate

Equity release trade body SHIP is launching a Discussion Paper at an industry conference led by Baroness Patricia Hollis and hosted by Ernst & Young in London today entitled: Facing the Future, Redefining Equity Release to meet today’s social and economic challenges

At the heart of the SHIP Paper is new research which shows that there is no longer one ‘type’ of equity release customer, but many. People, at or after retirement, turning to equity release products are becoming more diverse in their needs and circumstances, and are putting their property equity to a much wider set of uses than before, including funding care, tax and estate planning, or enhancing their lifestyle

Yet SHIP is concerned that while the current regulated equity release sector is doing much to respond to these trends, there are some serious constraints. Indeed market weaknesses are restricting the sector’s capacity to adapt products, advice processes, compliance regimes and pricing to fully meet these emerging needs.

As a result, SHIP is launching a debate – involving key stakeholders, such as Government, regulators, consumer organisations and the voluntary sector, as well as the equity release industry – into how the sector can evolve to better meet the needs of different types of customer

As part of this discussion, SHIP is calling for the Government to launch a formal enquiry into the role which equity release could play in helping to fund today’s and tomorrow’s retirement funding needs

Beyond today’s launch SHIP will debate the issues with all of these stakeholders and subsequently announce the findings of this process

Simon Little, director of Home & Capital, said: “The SHIP discussion paper brings an issue of critical importance to the fore: how we face the challenges of Britain’s ageing population and meet the cost of retirement