Crown Equity Release must wait until the new year to hear whether its application to Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP) has been successful.
Managing director of Crown, Mark King, said the initial application had been incomplete and SHIP needed confirmation of the volume of business that Crown was doing from its accountants.
King said he expected the application to be approved, but was frustrated with the delay. The next meeting at which the application can be approved is on 16 January 2003.
John King, chairman of SHIP, said he was unable to comment on particular applications.
l According to advisory firm Key Retirement Solutions (KRS), the equity release market is set to see huge growth on the back of falling stock market and savings’ values. Colin Taylor, managing director for KRS, said: ‘The FTSE All Share has dropped more than 12% over the last six months, and many savings accounts are providing below inflation returns after tax. Around two-thirds of pensioners are living below the poverty line, or close to it. However, we estimate retired homeowners have £500bn of equity in their homes, which they can capitalise on to improve their standard of living.’