The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today announced temporary measures, effective from 14 April, which expect firms providing consumer finance to:
- Offer a temporary payment freeze on loans and credit cards for up to three months, for consumers negatively impacted by Covid-19.
- Allow customers who are negatively impacted by Covid-19 and who already have an arranged overdraft on their main personal current account, up to £500 charged at zero interest for three months.
- Make sure that all overdraft customers are no worse off on price when compared to the prices they were charged before the recent overdraft pricing changes came into force.
- Ensure consumers using any of these temporary payment freeze measures will not have their credit file affected.
Christopher Woolard, interim Chief Executive at the FCA, said:
“We know many people are suffering financial pressures brought on as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The measures we’ve announced are designed to provide people affected with short-term financial support through what could be a very difficult time. The changes will provide support for consumers with credit cards, loans and overdrafts, facing temporary financial difficulties because of the pandemic.
“Customers should think carefully before making use of these measures and only do so if they need immediate help. Where they can still afford to make payments, they should continue to do so.