The FCA is consulting on draft guidance explaining how firms can support their mortgage customers impacted by the cost-of-living crisis, including varying a contract for forbearance purposes. The draft guidance will clarify the effect of existing FCA rules and principles rather than setting new expectations.
The FCA has asked for comments by 5pm on Wednesday 21 December 2022.
Separately, the Chancellor has met with leaders of the UK’s major mortgage lenders, the FCA and Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert to discuss how lenders can help people struggling to pay their mortgages. The lenders committed to support customers by:
- enabling customers who are up to date with payments to switch to a new competitive, mortgage deal without another affordability test;
- providing well-timed information to help customers plan ahead should their current rate be due to end;
- offering tailored support to those who start to struggle with payments which will vary by lender, but may include extending the term of the mortgage to make monthly payments lower, a short term reduction in monthly payments or accepting interest-only payments for a period where appropriate;
- ensuring highly trained and experienced staff are on hand to help where needed.
The government confirmed:
- action to make Support for Mortgage Interest easier to access; if you are on Universal Credit you may be able to receive help with your mortgage interest payments after three months;
- record levels of funding for the Money and Pensions Service to provide debt advice in England.