We have updated our guidance on payment deferrals and tailored support to provide enhanced support to consumer credit customers who face payment difficulties as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19).
On 4 November 2020, we published updated draft guidance to firms to enhance the support they provide to consumer credit customers who face payment difficulties due to coronavirus.
This feedback statement summarises the feedback we received on our proposed measures and our response.
The Payment Deferral Guidance and Tailored Support Guidance set out our expectations on firms to ensure that:
- they continue to provide payment deferrals to consumers who have not yet had a payment deferral, and those who have had less than 6 months of payment deferrals who will be able to top up as long as total deferrals do not exceed 6 months (with the exception of High-Cost Short-Term Credit which will remain 1 month);
- they continue to provide tailored support to consumers facing financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus who have benefitted from payment deferrals under the Payment Deferral Guidance and remain in financial difficulty, as well as those who are affected by coronavirus after 31 March 2021;
- no one should have their vehicle or goods repossessed without their agreement until after 31 January 2021.
We wanted to act quickly to protect consumers in these difficult times and provide clarity for firms and so did not formally consult on the proposals or produce a cost benefit analysis. To do this would have caused a delay that would be prejudicial to the interests of consumers. However, we invited comments on our proposals and received 26 responses from consumer organisations, firms, trade bodies and individuals.
Action and next steps
The guidance comes into effect on 25 November 2020 but we encourage firms that are able to start providing this enhanced support sooner to do so.
Given ongoing uncertainties arising from the impact of coronavirus, we will keep our position under regular review and will update or amend our guidance, or provide new guidance, if it is required.