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18 March, 2020 Open access

Chancellor announces a minimum three month mortgage holiday for those affected by coronavirus

Government confirms that payment holidays will also be adopted 'where necessary' for Help to Buy customers

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a minimum three month mortgage holiday for those affected by coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference inside 10 Downing Street about the government's economic response to the coronavirus outbreak, Mr Sunak announced a £330 billion package of support for people and businesses and, in respect of support for individuals, he said - 

'Following discussions with industry today, I can announce that for those in difficulty due to coronavirus, mortgage lenders will offer at least a three month mortgage holiday – so that people will not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage while they get back on their feet.'

Commenting on the Chancellor's statement, the CEO of UK Finance (the collective voice for the banking and finance industry) Stephen Jones said- 

'Mortgage lenders will support customers who are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19 and the options include a payment holiday of up to three months.

Monthly mortgage payments tend to be the largest outgoing for the vast majority of households and lenders are keen to reassure homeowners that the industry is working hard to put measures in place to support them during these uncertain times.

Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for them.'

NB - the government has also announced that payment holidays will also be adopted 'where necessary' for Help to Buy customers paying interest on their Equity Loans, a move that had been announced earlier in respect of Wales by Assembly Housing Minister Julie James.

Mr Sunak's speech is available from gov.uk