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UK watchdog to add car finance to pandemic loan relief measures

LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - The Financial Conduct Authority said on Thursday it would add car financing to the temporary relief measures aimed at supporting households facing sudden financial hardship as result of the coronavirus.

As expected, the FCA also confirmed proposals set out last week requiring banks to offer a three-month payment freezes on loans and credit card debt.

"We know there is still more work to be done, and we will be announcing further measures to support consumers in other parts of the credit market in the future, including in the motor finance sector next week," FCA Interim Chief Executive Christopher Woolard said in a statement.

"Customers should think carefully before making use of these measures and only do so if they need immediate help. Where they can still afford to make payments, they should continue to do so," Woolard said.

The full range of measures will apply by April 14 to allow banks time to ensure they have enough resources in place to handle customer requests, the FCA said.

"All firms will be ready to receive customer requests by 14 April, although some firms including the major banks and building societies, will be adopting the changes today," the watchdog said. (Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Sinead Cruise)