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Many older people have equity tied up in their homes that could be used to provide them with a greater income in later life and improve their standard of living. Traditionally, the ways to unlock the equity in people’s homes have been through downsizing, equity release lifetime loans or home reversion plans. However, not everyone is in a position to downsize, there are pros and cons to each approach, and all have associated costs.
The Equity Bank would provide a new way for people to unlock the equity in their home. It would be a state agency which provides people with a low cost fixed lifetime income in exchange for a fixed share of the equity in their home. The Equity Bank would take a charge on the person’s home and recover the value of the equity from the person’s estate after their death.
The event was chaired by Baroness Sally Greengross, Chief Executive of the ILC-UK. Nick Kirwan, Director of the ILC-UK Care Funding Advice Network, opened the discussion. Professor Les Mayhew of Cass Business School and co-author of the paper 'The UK Equity Bank - Towards income security in old age' then presented the concept, after which Paul Burstow MP responded. There was then time for questions and a general discussion.