MFSA publishes consumer guide to new Equity Release Scheme

The new scheme will allow citizens to liquidate up to 60% of the value of their property while continuing to live in it

The MFSA has issued a Q&A on the newly-launched Home Equity Release Scheme
The MFSA has issued a Q&A on the newly-launched Home Equity Release Scheme

Malta’s financial services watchdog has issued a Q&A on the government’s recently-launched Home Equity Release scheme for pensioners.

Last month, the government announced the scheme, which will allow senior citizens to liquidate up to 60% of the value of their property while still being able to live in it.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said it would be helping elderly people who might be well-off in terms of the value of their property, but who do not have liquid assets readily available for them to use in their daily lives.

How does the scheme work?

  1. This product offers pensioners the possibility to translate part of the value of their property into a liquid asset.
  2. By entering into this contract, the pensioner will have more cash in hand whilst enjoying their retirement in their own home.
  3. Individuals who subscribe to this scheme will be essentially taking out a loan in exchange for regular income. The loan will be repaid when the property is sold.

Who is offering it and when?

  1. This product can be offered by licensed credit and financial institutions operating in or from Malta.
  2. MFSA is currently working on the regulatory framework that needs to be in place for it to regulate the equity release financial product
  3. The equity release financial products regulations will come into force on the 1 September 2019. After this date no credit or financial institutions can offer such product without being duly authorized.
  4. Any licensed institutions providing such financial products will have one year to comply with the requirements set out in the regulations published by the authority.

Any tips?

  1. MFSA encourages interested individuals to seek independent professional advice and weigh their options before entering into an equity release transaction for the first time.
  2. It is your right to receive all the information you need to make an informed decision
  3. MFSA will issue further updates once the framework comes into force. THe public is encouraged to follow the Authority’s channels on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook, or alternatively to visit mfsa.com.mt for the latest updates.

 

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