Speaking at MBE London 2012, Mirfin moved to calm concerns that the growing number of older homeowners approaching retirement on interest-only mortgages represents a ‘time bomb’ for the industry.
He acknowledged the interest-only issue but said it only represented a problem if there were no solutions and reasoned that equity release could well be the answer for many individuals.
However, he was keen to stress the importance of individuals – and the sector as a whole – acting early and not leaving things too late.
“Older homeowners face a number of problems such as endowment shortfalls, being trapped in interest-only mortgages with no repayment vehicle in place and a reduction in income as they head into retirement,” said Mirfin.
“As an industry, it is important that we help spread the message that equity release can help meet different needs and we need to help people understand all of their options.
“The interest-only issue will only become a greater problem if we don’t look for the right solutions in the right places, so it is important that advisers and providers are available to assist with this.”