FSA outlines work on lifetime mortgages

Ramesh Sharma

January 14, 2006

The media briefing highlighted FSA action already carried out, the industry’s response, and plans for future work in the sector. It comes after consumer magazine Which? warned consumers to consider equity release only as a ‘last resort.’

The FSA said the message was ‘standards must be raised’ and the regulator would be back to test improved standards are being delivered.

It said priorities for future work included: ‘assisting firms with meeting regulatory responsibilities, mystery shopping, review of subsequent investment advice and a review of lifetime mortgage advice’. The main research will start in the spring with firm visits and client file reviews.

Chris Rumsey, commercial director at Retirement Plus, said: “It’s astonishing Which? can comment sensibly elsewhere on general mortgages, recognising the value they bring to people outweighs their cost, yet fail to see equity release products have precisely the same effect. ”

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