The FCA has set out ways that mortgage firms can help customers worried about or already struggling with their mortgage payments as a result of the cost of living squeeze.
The FCA expects firms to support their customers in a range of ways that meet their needs. It has published guidance setting out options firms can use to support their customers to manage their monthly mortgage payments, alongside new information for borrowers affected by rising prices.
Sheldon Mills, Executive Director of Consumers and Competition at the FCA, said:
"Most borrowers are able to keep up with their mortgage payments and should continue to do so. But if you’re struggling to pay your mortgage, or are worried you might, you don’t need to struggle alone. Your lender has a range of tools available to help, so you should contact them as soon as possible."
The FCA’s draft guidance sets out the flexibility firms have to support customers who have missed monthly mortgage payments or are worried they may not be able to make payments in future. It covers options such as extending the term of their mortgage, switching to interest-only for a temporary period, moving to a different interest rate or making reduced monthly payments for a temporary period.
Making changes, even temporary ones, may result in higher monthly payments in future or paying back more overall. Mortgage borrowers should consider carefully any steps they take and customers who can keep up with their payments should continue to do so.
The FCA has also attended a roundtable, hosted by the UK Government, alongside mortgage lenders to discuss what support some mortgage borrowers may need.
The FCA is closely monitoring the mortgage market and will continue to act so consumers get the support they need.
Today’s publications build on what the FCA has already done to make sure firms treat customers fairly and support those struggling financially due to the rising cost of living. The regulator has previously reminded firms of how they should support borrowers and how they need to improve their treatment of those in financial difficulty.
- The FCA is seeking comments on the draft guidance by 5pm on 21 December 2022.
- Anyone struggling financially can visit MoneyHelper for tips on living on a squeezed income and to find free, expert debt advice.