FCA confirms next stage of support for mortgage borrowers

The FCA has confirmed the support that mortgage borrowers will receive if they continue to face payment difficulties due to COVID-19.

The measures mean firms will offer further short and longer-term support to reflect the circumstances of their customers, which could include the extension of repayment terms or restructuring of mortgages.

Additional guidance for firms has been published by the regulator to ensure that consumers who have benefitted from payment deferrals under the current guidance, as well as those whose financial situation may be newly affected by coronavirus after the current guidance ends, continue to receive support.

Where consumers need further short-term support, the FCA revealed that firms can continue to offer arrangements for no or reduced payments for a specified period to give customers time to get “back on track”. The additional guidance is set to come into force on 16 September.

FCA interim chief executive, Christopher Woolard, commented: “Some consumers will continue to be impacted by coronavirus in the coming months, or be impacted for the first time. Consumers in these situations will benefit from firms providing them with tailored support.

“However, it is very important that consumers who can afford to resume mortgage payments should do so for their own long-term interests and so that help can be targeted at those most in need.”

The FCA’s current guidance, published in June, will continue to provide support for those impacted by COVID-19 until 31 October – with consumers able to take a first or second three-month payment deferral. The June guidance is due to expire on 31 October and the FCA indicated that it does not intend to extend this guidance.

“The guidance published today ensures consumers will still be able to obtain the support they need from their lenders after their payment holiday ends or they are newly affected by coronavirus after 31 October,” the regulator also stated.

“However, we will keep the guidance under review and if circumstances change significantly, consideration will be given to any further measures that may be needed to support consumers during the ongoing pandemic.”

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