Mortgages  

PRA poses questions for equity release despite optimism

PRA poses questions for equity release despite optimism

The growth of equity release will depend on the Prudential Regulation Authority’s review of the market, Peter Borley has said.

Speaking at the Marketforce annual conference in London, JPR Group’s customer propositions director for lifetime mortgages said he was optimistic about the prospects for growth in equity release.

He said: “I believe the growth rate we have seen will continue into the future and I see evolution and innovation going forward.

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“With the PRA review of lifetime mortage valuations, that’s an unknown and maybe in 12 months time I will be talking about it as an opportunity rather than a threat.”

The PRA launched its review in March because there are “particular challenges” associated with the risks of equity release mortgages and how they should be valued.

Despite this Mr Borley said he is optimistic about equity release, pointing to figures which showed record £1.6bn of lending in 2015.

Two of the reasons for this, he said, was because of the number of interest-only mortgages without a formal plan to pay them off and because of an increase number of distributors.

He said: “There is no doubt that the Council of Mortgage Lenders is doing a great job with its members however there is still a significant amount of interest-only debt out there with no formal form of payment.

“We are speaking to banks out there who want to use lifetime mortgages to help them solve that problem.

“There are also only a limited number of distribution firms in the market who control distribution.

“I do see the mainstream mortgage lenders move into this more so the bandwidth will increase exponentially.”