Speaking at the Equity Release Awards last night, Waterson said he was confident the sector would break the £3bn barrier this year and noted there were predictions by some in the market it will reach £5bn or even £8bn in the next couple of years.
He also welcomed new entrants to later-life lending and said the sector was now being taken seriously.
Vote of confidence
During his final speech at the annual awards dinner as chairman of the trade body, Waterson noted that during his five years at the helm of the ERC he had witnessed many changes.
“We have seen rapid growth in our sector. I have no doubt that this year we will break through the £3bn mark for new business,” Waterson said.
He noted the importance of household names joining the sector: “Legal and General a couple of years ago. More recently Canada Life and now Nationwide. These are not only huge boosts for the whole market, but also a massive vote of confidence in our standards.
Come of age
And Waterson addressed the industry’s improving reputation within the media and general public.
“I also firmly believe we have put firmly behind us the image issues of the past. Our media coverage nowadays is overwhelmingly positive. And our views are taken seriously by government, regulators and media,” he continued.
“In short, the sector has come of age.”
He continued: “And what of the future? I believe the council and the sector are poised for a period of even more dramatic growth.”
Waterson also took the opportunity to thank those who he had worked with closely during his time in the industry and wish his successor David Burrowes well.