Help for struggling mortgage borrowers confirmed - but Martin Lewis says it's 'a thin sandwich'
Today (Friday), the Financial Conduct Authority has published its final guidance for how lenders should help struggling mortgage borrowers. Responding to the announcement, Martin Lewis likened the news to ‘a thin sandwich', but said he is hopeful the measures put lenders in a position to be able to offer quick-fire support in the event of future interest rate shocks.
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "This FCA initiative is a thin sandwich – lots of bread but not much meat. It is primarily about clarifying guidance, which is needed, rather than any new measures.
"It was born out of last December's mortgage summit, called by the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, on the back of warnings of a potential ticking time bomb of both unaffordable high rates coupled with remortgage rejections due to the cost of living squeeze.
"As the only person invited not from a bank or regulator, I raised a number of tweaks, changes and improved communication as relief measures to get customers over a tricky time. Few of those have materialised. Some of that is for good reason. The worst case scenarios back then were dreadful, and the key to the meeting was being prepared for the worst.
"Thankfully, mortgage rates and interest rates haven't risen as high as they could have, so the need for urgent measures is less profound. Most who could afford to pay their mortgage then still can, even if it's tight. Yet it's also because getting any innovation through a body of lenders and regulators is tough.
"My hope is, as work has been done in the background, this carries on so there's a nimbleness and an ability to act in the event mortgage rates were to rise further."
For more comments and interviews please contact:
Tel: 0203 846 2796