The latest figures from Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) show that the equity release market has fallen 14% in overall value, from £1.09 billion in 2008 to £946 million in 2009. Members of SHIP also saw the number of plans sold fall by 27% in 2009.
In what could be seen as a response to the weakening equity release market Compliancy Services has been involved in talks with a number of equity release providers who are investigating the potential of the SRB market.
The specialist sale and rent back arm of Compliancy Services was launched to aid SRB firms, many of whom have never previously been regulated, deal with the often complex and time-consuming requirements of achieving and maintaining FSA authorisation
Claire Wilkinson, retail director at Compliancy Services, commented: “Whilst the equity release sector continues to fulfil an important role for consumers, it is evident that some providers are also looking at other areas of the market including SRB. Whilst it remains a different market, sale and rent back is not a million miles away from equity release and the cross-over for providers would be a relatively simple one in terms of regulatory permissions. With SRB coming under the FSA’s regime standards are inevitably increasing and through the banning of exploitative advertising, high-pressure sales techniques and the introduction of a 14-day cooling off period the professionalism of this arena is growing. However, it is evident that the regulator will, quite rightly, be keeping a close eye on this sector to ensure it is appropriately policed.”