"Further collaboration with the broader late life industry is also vital to deliver the best customer outcomes."
Lending in Q3 2017 surpassed £800 million for the first time in any single quarter, with the sector now on course to reach a record-breaking £3 billion in lending for the first time in a single year, according to the Equity Release Council.
As demand for equity release increases, the Equity Release Council's membership has increased annually by nearly a quarter (23%) to 219, boosted by new entrants to the market.
Similarly, The Council has seen an increase of nearly a third (31%) in individual members over the same period, rising from 511 in December 2016 to now stand at 671.
This year, The Council welcomed Nationwide as its first building society provider member since relaunching from Safe Home Income Plans in 2012, and Lighthouse Group as the first of seven financial services network organisation members.
The latest growth milestone comes as former Conservative MP David Burrowes assumes the role of Chairman of The Council from Nigel Waterson, who stepped down in November after almost six years at the helm during which time the membership and market both grew significantly.
David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, commented: “2017 has been a watershed year in the life of the equity release sector. The growth in numbers and diversity of The Council’s membership is testament to both the rigorous safeguards and product innovation within the market, that are increasingly helping to move housing wealth into the mainstream as a tool for financial planning in retirement. Property is, for many people, their largest asset and has the potential to play an even greater role in the future of retirement funding.
“I am eager to build on this momentum and look forward to engaging with our growing membership to ensure the sector is able to realise its potential, while maintaining product safeguards that are fit for purpose. Further collaboration with the broader late life industry is also vital to deliver the best customer outcomes.
“Using my experience gained in Parliament, I also look forward to strengthening the profile of equity release with a diverse range of political and regulatory stakeholders.”