§ Mr. Lazarowicz
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to change the regulatory regime applicable to equity release products and providers. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The Government is giving the Financial Services Authority responsibility for regulating mortgage business, including mortgage based equity release arrangements. In August last year, the FSA published its consultation paper, CP 146 setting out its approach to regulating mortgage sales including lifetime mortgages (the FSA's term for regulated equity release mortgages). It is expected that regulation of lifetime and other mortgages will come into force in October 2004.
As for home reversions, the Government announced in its Green Paper on Pensions that it would be looking at options to create a level playing field for the regulation of equity release and home reversion plans to protect consumers and make the market work better. The Government is gathering evidence of consumer detriment to decide the appropriate level of regulation. If the Government decides to go ahead and regulate home reversions the likely timescale would be a consultation later in the year, and the Government would decide on the basis of legal advice whether secondary or primary legislation was necessary.