Coronavirus (Covid-19): support for consumers

We are closely monitoring the coronavirus (Covid-19) situation and taking sensible precautions to make sure consumers are protected. Read our advice below on the steps you can take to stay aware of any possible impact on your finances.

We are working closely with the Government, the Bank of England, the Payment Systems Regulator and firms to ensure markets continue to work well for consumers. As you would expect, we are in regular contact with firms to assess their preparedness and we expect them to be looking at their business continuity plans.

We will be providing regular advice for consumers and firms on our dedicated coronavirus pages.

Insurance

We are having regular conversations with insurance providers to ensure they can manage any impact of coronavirus on their operations.

On 19 March 2020, we published an update on how coronavirus could impact your insurance.

You should be aware that insurance cover differs from policy to policy. If you are unsure whether you are covered for the outbreak, you should contact your provider directly. Insurance providers should be able to clearly highlight any exclusions that may exist.

Consumers specifically concerned about their travel insurance can take a number of steps in advance to find out if they are covered:

  • check your travel insurance wording carefully before you travel
  • read the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before you leave
  • take some extra time to make sure the policy you intend to buy covers all your needs
  • contact your insurer directly before you travel if you are in doubt

Mortgages

On 20 March 2020, we issued new guidance on how we expect mortgage lenders and administrators to treat customers fairly during this situation. See the steps we’ve taken to support you.

Scams

Watch out for scams related to coronavirus (Covid-19). These scams take many forms and could be about insurance policies, pensions transfers, or high-return investment opportunities, including investments in cryptoassets.

Scammers are sophisticated, opportunistic and will try many things. They are also very likely to target the vulnerable. Beware of investments that appear to be too good be true. If you decide to invest in something offering a high return or in a cryptoasset, you should be prepared to lose all your money.

Read how to avoid coronavirus scams to find out more about potential scams, how they could affect you and how to protect yourself.

More steps to avoid scams

If you suspect a scam, call Action Fraud straight away on 0300 123 2040.

We have more tips and advice on avoiding scams on our ScamSmart pages.

Treating customers fairly

We are closely engaged with firms to understand the potential impacts on consumers of coronavirus. During this contact we continue to make clear that firms must treat customers fairly and consider the needs of those potentially affected by the impact of coronavirus.

We are aware some consumers may be put under additional financial pressure, so if you are experiencing payment difficulties you should contact your credit provider or mortgage lender as soon as possible and explain your situation.

For any other financial concerns, the Money Advice Service offers free and impartial support.

The Financial Ombudsman Service’s coronavirus page provides guidance on the latest issues consumers are facing.

Access to cash

We are working with the Bank of England and the Payment Systems Regulator, along with Link, to ensure consumers have access to cash through the wide range of ATM networks. We are confident in firms’ business continuity plans to reduce any impact on supply. We are also being kept up-to-date by payment card providers.

Personal loans, credit cards and overdrafts

We have proposed new, temporary measures to quickly support users of some credit products such as loans, credit cards and overdrafts who are facing a change in financial circumstances due to coronavirus. Find out more about the steps we’re taking to support you.

Contacting us

If you're looking to contact us to find out if a firm is authorised by us, please check the Financial Services Register.

For all other queries, including impacts of the coronavirus, please contact your product provider. Their details can be found on your documentation or on the Financial Services Register.

If you need to report a scam or other fraudulent activity, please email [email protected].