HC Deb 15 December 2003 vol 415 cc676-7W
Mr. Gardiner:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what discussions he has had with consumer groups on the prevention of mis-selling of home equity release products; and what impact the new regulatory structure will have on these efforts; [144334]

(2) what steps he is taking to improve the collection of Treasury statistics on the number of equity release products taken out each year; [144335]

(3) what steps are being taken to ensure that the new structure for the regulation of home equity release products allows for the easier collation of statistics on the number of products bought; [144336]

(4) What plans he has to regulate the valuation of properties for people taking out a home reversion policy. [144339]

Ruth Kelly:

Mortgage-based equity release plans (lifetime mortgages) will be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) with effect from 31 October 2004. The FSA has published a consultation paper (CP 197) that sets out proposed reporting requirements for mortgage, insurance and investment firms. Regulated firms will have to provide product sales data regularly, and in particular, firms will be required to report on the type of product sold and the status of the borrower.

The Government published their consultation document on home reversion plans on 11 November and responses are due to be received by 13 February 2004. The issue of property valuation is discussed in paragraphs 21–23. My officials have met representatives of consumer bodies to discuss these proposals on a number of occasions.

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