VICTORIA BISCHOFF: Equity release is not easy cash – it is debt to last a lifetime 

Our home is usually one of our most valuable assets.

So it is hardly surprising that increasing numbers of retirees are looking to tap into this wealth with a so-called equity release loan.

But it’s hard not to feel a little jittery at the astronomical growth in this type of borrowing.

Over-55s released £1.08billion of cash from their properties in the final three months of 2018 The building society is opening two branches in new areas The building society is opening two branches in new areas

The building society is opening two branches in new areas

One of the most common gripes we hear about branch closures is that there is little to no parking near their next closest bank.

So offering customers access to free parking by opening a branch in Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield is a real bonus.

Super service

Ending on a summery note, Money Mail reader Brian Doolan wrote to me last week to sing the praises of tour operator Riviera Travel. Brian and his wife had suffered a lengthy delay on their way home from Milan after their flight was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

But Brian says: ‘We have all heard the reports about holidays that went badly and the lack of help from the travel companies. For a change, I would like to thank Riviera Travel for its assistance, despite the delay being totally outside of its control.

‘We arrived home to a letter in which it apologised for the disruption and advised that it had made a goodwill payment into our bank account.

‘It also offered to assist in our claim for any expenses incurred and, to our surprise, reimbursed us not only for beverages and snacks, but even the additional car parking charges.’

He adds: ‘Riviera Travel also agreed to postpone the departure date of our next holiday, as we just cannot face the inside of another aircraft for some time.’

Keep your holiday tales — good or bad — coming.

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