UK markets close in 7 hours 14 minutes
  • FTSE 100

    6,729.38
    +8.73 (+0.13%)
     
  • FTSE 250

    20,689.35
    +50.01 (+0.24%)
     
  • AIM

    1,173.58
    -0.69 (-0.06%)
     
  • GBP/EUR

    1.1231
    -0.0014 (-0.12%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3598
    +0.0011 (+0.08%)
     
  • BTC-GBP

    27,416.18
    +586.71 (+2.19%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    734.58
    -0.56 (-0.08%)
     
  • S&P 500

    3,768.25
    -27.29 (-0.72%)
     
  • DOW

    30,814.26
    -177.24 (-0.57%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    52.48
    +0.12 (+0.23%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,842.30
    +12.40 (+0.68%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    28,633.46
    +391.25 (+1.39%)
     
  • HANG SENG

    29,642.28
    +779.51 (+2.70%)
     
  • DAX

    13,870.53
    +22.18 (+0.16%)
     
  • CAC 40

    5,619.69
    +2.42 (+0.04%)
     

Coronavirus: Banks set to extend mortgage holidays for hardest-hit homeowners

Tom Belger
·Finance and policy reporter
·2-min read
Terraced houses in Blackpool. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Customers can continue to apply to defer payments for three months until 31 October. But the FCA has now set out how banks should help customers after that date. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images

Britain’s lenders are set to extend support to homeowners hardest-hit by the coronavirus crisis, but a watchdog has stopped short of ordering another round of three-month mortgage holidays.

The UK’s financial regulator is likely to order banks to let the worst-affected borrowers make reduced or no payments after many mortgage holidays run out at the end of October.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had told banks to hand struggling customers a three-month mortgage holiday when the pandemic hit, which was later extended by another three months.

Customers can continue to apply to defer payments for three months until 31 October. But the FCA has now set out how banks should help customers after that date, amid growing job losses as the furlough scheme is wound down and employers brace for a sustained downturn.

READ MORE: Shoppers hit high streets as retail footfall keeps rising

It is consulting banks and other lenders over draft guidance published on Wednesday, which says firms should “offer arrangements for no or reduced payments for a specified period” for those in need of further support.

The FCA said many customers will remain in financial difficulty later this year. Such help will be available to those newly in difficulty as well as those who have already received holidays.

But the FCA did not set out how much banks should reduce payments by or how long for in a press release announcing the draft guidance on Wednesday. It also said the majority of customers who had received payment holidays were expected to resume full payment.

READ MORE: Co-op Bank axes 350 jobs and closes branches

Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive of the FCA, said: “It is important that consumers who can afford to resume mortgage payments should do so. However, we understand that borrowers facing payment difficulties because of the pandemic will continue to face uncertainty and may also experience temporary interruptions in income.

“We are proposing that firms contact their borrowers in good time before the end of a payment holiday, and work with them to come up with a tailored plan to help get them back on track. Firms should not take a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”