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FCA’s proposals to support struggling customers with mortgages amidst COVID-19

fcaFCA today announced proposals to support customers struggling to pay their mortgages amidst COVID-19. The new proposal covers the options that firms need to provide customers who are coming to the end of a payment holiday. It has also extended the payment holiday application time till 31st October 2020 for customers who have not requested one. FCA also added that customers undergoing temporary payment difficulties will be allowed a further three month payment holiday.

Christopher Woolard, Interim Chief Executive at the FCA, said, “Our expectations are clear – anyone who continues to need help should get help from their lender. We expect firms to work with customers on the best options available for them, paying particular attention to the needs of their vulnerable customers, and to provide information on where to access help and advice. Where consumers can afford to re-start mortgage payments, it is in their best interests to do so. But where they can’t, a range of further support will be available. People who are struggling and have not had a payment holiday will continue to be able to apply until 31st October.”

According to FCA, once the proposals are confirmed it expects customers to return to full repayment if they can afford to. It will also continue to assist firms in need of help and will continue the ban on repossessions of home till 31st October. FCA has confirmed that payment holidays and partial payment holidays offered will not impact credit files negatively. The guidance stated applies only to mortgages and not to consumer credit products.

The organisation’s press release stated, “Firms should consider signposting customers towards sources of debt advice. Debt advice may be helpful for customers coming to the end of payment holidays and may be particularly useful for consumers with pre-existing payment shortfalls or who are likely to be in longer-term financial difficulty.”

IBS Intelligence recently reported that in a bid to ease the burden on the financial services companies amidst the coronavirus crisis, the Financial Services Regulatory Initiatives Forum has launched the Regulatory Initiatives Grid.

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