Speaking to the Times, Nationwide’s group retail director Chris Rhodes, said the lender was in the research and development phase to determine how it could help older homeowners release equity from their home to fund care or help children onto the housing ladder.
Rhodes said Nationwide wanted to offer ‘a decent fixed interest rate’ and a no-negative-equity guarantee that removed the risk of repossession.
Preliminary results published by Nationwide this week showed underlying profits grew 9% as gross mortgage lending surged 20% year-on-year to £32.6bn.
But speaking to the Guardian, Rhodes admitted that with competition among lenders set to ramp up over the coming months, profits at the lender were likely to come under pressure.
Equity release has seen a number of new players join the market in the past year or so, with major provider Legal and General announcing a range of lifetime mortgages, and more recently mutual OneFamily entering the sector.
Mainstream lenders have also been keeping their eye on support for older homeowners. Last year, Santander confirmed its intention to support back-book customers struggling to pay off their interest-only mortgages.
The lender said it wanted to create a product that made it easier for customers to make capital repayments, while evolving its capital and interest conversion process.