Abbey National has signed up intermediary Key Retirement Solutions as the exclusive distributor for its equity release product. The move is part of a pilot scheme that sees Abbey testing the water in the equity release market, which has seen much interest from lenders in recent months. The scheme will also be available from Abbey branches in Bromley, Eastbourne, and Tunbridge Wells.
Jan Errington, group marketing manager at Abbey National, said: ‘The equity release market is a rapidly expanding area and we are keen to test the water and learn more about the way the market operates. Key is the obvious choice of partner for us, we are keen to ensure that people buying our products have access to advice either through our branch network or an independent financial adviser.’
Colin Taylor, managing director of Key Retirement Solutions, added: ‘We welcome Abbey National’s entry into the market and are delighted it recognises that some people will want specialised independent advice before buying an equity release scheme.’
The Abbey scheme has the approval of Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) which sets standards for the equity release market. In recent weeks, Prudential has announced its entry into the equity release market and Saga is also looking at offering a product in conjunction with Scottish Widows later in the summer. Bradford & Bingley’s specialist lender Mortgage Express is also harbouring plans to come into the market although details are yet to be finalised.