We’re amending our Mortgages and Home Finance: Conduct of Business (MCOB) sourcebook to support the implementation of the Government’s Mortgage Charter.
What we are changing
We are introducing changes to our Handbook to enable firms to allow mortgage borrowers to:
- reduce their capital repayments (including to zero, and paying interest only) for up to 6 months
- fully or partly reverse a term extension within 6 months of extending the term
Both options may now be offered without a new affordability assessment.
The changes we are making aim to secure an appropriate degree of protection for consumers by enabling lenders to offer their customers swift, temporary reductions in payments and for customers to make an informed choice on their options.
Firms will need to ensure customers are provided with sufficient information to support their decision.
Who this is for
This policy statement applies to:
- mortgage lenders and administrators
- home purchase providers and administrators
It may also be of interest to:
- industry groups and trade bodies
- credit reference agencies
- consumer groups
- individual customers
The rule changes take effect from 30 June 2023. Firms may begin using these exemptions from that date.
We will review the impact of the rule changes within 12 months.
These measures support the implementation of the commitments made under the government’s new Mortgage Charter.
All borrowers are having to manage financial challenges from the increased cost of living.
Over the next year we expect many borrowers will face a significant increase in their monthly mortgage payments due to the rising cost of increased interest rates. We project that the biggest increase in the number of ‘financially stretched’ borrowers will occur between July and September 2023.
Given this, and the number of consumers affected, we are introducing these changes to our Handbook without consultation.