18 September, 2020
FCA issues finalised additional guidance to firms on provision of tailored support to mortgage borrowers affected by coronavirus after 31 October 2020
New guidance includes that firms should respond to the particular needs of vulnerable customers, and that people should be signposted or referred to debt advice where appropriate
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued finalised additional guidance to firms on the provision of tailored support to mortgage borrowers affected by coronavirus after 31 October 2020.
In Mortgages and Coronavirus: Additional Guidance for Firms, the FCA advises that the new guidance supplements its June guidance for firms - that sets out the support for those newly impacted by coronavirus enabling them to request an initial or further three-month payment deferral up to and including 31 October 2020 - to support mortgage customers who continue to face financial difficulties after a payment deferral, as well as those whose financial situation may be affected by COVID-19 after 31 October 2020.
In particular, the additional guidance confirms -
- the FCA's view that customers will need more tailored support if they have benefitted from payment deferrals under the guidance issued in June and remain in payment difficulties; and
- sets out the FCA’s expectations for the outcomes that firms should achieve to support those customers who are affected by coronavirus after 31 October, whether or not they have benefitted from a payment deferral, including that -
- customers receive appropriate forbearance that is in their interests after consideration of their individual circumstances;
- firms support their customers through periods of payment difficulty and uncertainty, including by considering their other debts and essential living costs;
- firms recognise vulnerability and respond to the particular needs of vulnerable customers;
- firms have systems, processes and adequately trained staff, with any staff incentives aligned with providing their customers with the help they need; and
- customers receive the support they need in managing their finances, including through self-help and money guidance - firms should signpost or refer them to debt advice if this meets their needs and circumstances.
Mortgages and coronavirus: additional guidance for firms - finalised guidance is available from fca.org.uk