The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is adopting new guidance that calls on firms to provide payment deferrals for mortgage borrowers who are suffering due to the Covid-19 fallout.
The FCA’s guidance, which takes effect on Nov. 20, sets out the support that firms should be providing to borrowers facing payment problems due to the pandemic. It encourages firms to provide payment deferrals of up to six months.
The regulator also said that no one should have their home repossessed before Jan. 31, 2021.
“Today we have confirmed further support for borrowers struggling financially as a result of coronavirus,” said Sheldon Mills, interim executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA.
“The announcement we have made today, ensures that the support offered through payment deferrals is as flexible and accessible as possible,” he said.
Borrowers will have until March 31, 2021 to apply for payment deferrals.
The FCA stressed that consumers should only seek payment deferrals when absolutely necessary.
Last month, the FCA demanded that insurance firms review their product lineups to ensure that their products continue to provide value to customers during the pandemic. Further, the regulator said firms should reduce or refund premiums on products that aren’t working well due to pandemic conditions.
The FCA was particularly concerned about products such as liability insurance for businesses that can’t open due to public health restrictions.