This report summarises the key findings of our thematic review of mortgage lenders’ arrears management and forbearance.
Who should read this paper?
Our findings will primarily be of interest to mortgage lenders and administrators.
What was the scope of the review?
This review considers whether firms have improved policies and practices since the Financial Services Authority (FSA), our predecessor organisation, last reviewed this. It summarises areas where firms can strengthen their practices so they are well placed to consistently treat customers in financial difficulty fairly.
What were our findings?
We found that arrears management in firms has improved since the last review. However, mortgage lenders and administrators need to place greater emphasis on delivering consistently fair outcomes for customers based on their individual circumstances.
We are concerned about the risks to borrowers from potential interest rate rises. We want firms to take proactive steps to identify borrowers who may be susceptible to these risks and ensure that they have strategies to treat them fairly.
What are the next steps?
We are working with firms and industry bodies to explain our concerns and help them strengthen their arrears management practices. We will take action where we observe customer detriment.
We have asked the firms that participated in our review to make specific improvements. Some firms were making positive changes to their approach at the time of our review and others are already acting on our findings.
We recognise that this is a challenging area for the industry and want to work with firms to get this right.