Safe Home Income Plans (SHIP), the trade body for equity release, has appointed Chris Pond as chair of the SHIP standards board.
Pond (pictured) - who was head of consumer affairs at the FSA for over three years - will be responsible for implementing SHIP standards and consumer protection as the organisation opens its doors to the wider equity release industry.
He said the maintenance of consumer protection is "essential" to give people the "confidence they will be treated fairly" if they consider using equity release to fill the increasing gap in retirement incomes and long-term care funding.
Pond, who was also MP for Gravesham between 1997 and 2005 and a work and pensions minster, said he was looking forward to working with recently appointed chairman, Nigel Waterson: "We may have been on opposite sides of an argument while both in Westminster, but have now come together in a shared objective of providing a safe mechanism for equity release to a much larger group of people".
He is also a chair of financial education charity Credit Action, a trustee of the Family and Parenting Institute and a council member of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Ged Hosty, managing director of equity release at Partnership said "following the appointment of Nigel Waterson as chairman of SHIP, we welcome the appointment of Chris Pond - another political heavy weight - as chair of the SHIP standards board. Chris has impeccable credentials and brings the experience and credibility which will help to reinforce the sense of trust among consumers who are considering using equity release."
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