Government writes to UK Finance on mortgage prisoners

John Glen has written to UK Finance setting out the possibilities for mortgage prisoners to switch deals. FCA data shows that 170,000 borrowers whose mortgages are in closed books or owned by unregulated firms are eligible to switch, of whom around 14,000 are mortgage prisoners who are up to date with payments and are likely to meet commercial lending criteria. The Government and FCA agree that these borrowers should have the opportunity to access better deals with new lenders and hope UK Finance members will now move quickly to offer those deals.

There are also a group of borrowers who may be in problem debt, and the Government and FCA are working to support this, and to give these borrowers some breathing space to get back on track.  Given the importance of the issue, the letter says industry collaboration is key, and that it is open to considering an extension of the regulatory perimeter if benefits to consumers and markets are clear, but it is equally important not to give false hope to consumers if a change will not in fact be helpful to them.

Emma Radmore