The Safe Home Income Plans group (SHIP) has reported a dramatic increase in equity release business for 1999.
SHIP members carried out £240m of new business last year, which represents an increase of 143 per cent in the past two years.
New mortgage and annuity schemes accounted for nearly £85m of the total and new reversion schemes were worth £155m. Overall, 5,131 new schemes were completed by SHIP members, which account for the vast majority of all equity release schemes currently sold.
The figures are based on the aggregate results of the seven members of SHIP in 1999: Allchurches Life, BPT Bridgewater (Home Reversions) Ltd, Carlyle Life, GE Life, Home and Capital Trust, Norwich Union Equity Release and NPI In-Retirement Services.
Northern Rock joined SHIP in June 2000.
SHIP chairman Mark Goodale says: “With the growing popularity of equity release schemes and new, ingenious plans coming on to the market every day, it is more important than ever for consumers to know which products are safe. In dealing with a SHIP member they have the guarantee that their interests are protected all along the line.”