The society began exploring a number of niche areas of the mortgage market in the last quarter of 2014 with the development of products for contractors and criteria enhancements for new build mortgages.
Hill said the society’s ‘instinct’ was that there was an opportunity for growth in the later life market.
“We’re involved with the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ (CML) work on lending into retirement. We sense there is an opportunity there but it’s quite difficult to square that circle. It’s difficult to develop a proposition which meets all the requirements and mitigates conduct risk.”
Research from equity release lender More 2 Life highlighted the growing demand among borrowers at retirement for more choice in specialist borrowing products. Some 60% of those surveyed aged over 65 said they wanted more choice.
Sue Anderson, head of member and external relations at the CML, said the trade association was currently working with members on a series of themes related to lending in and into retirement. It is looking to establish a better understanding of the needs and desires of older homeowners as well as finding out where the real or perceived regulatory barriers to delivering suitable lending solutions lie for older borrowers.
“Among other issues, we are considering how the mainstream mortgage market and the equity release markets interact and whether there is room for improvement here to help ensure a more seamless experience for older borrowers,” said Anderson. “We hope and expect to be able to report on this work before the end of the year.”