On 7 December 2022, the FCA issued a consultation on draft guidance which seeks to clarify the effect of existing rules and principles for firms supporting their existing mortgage borrowers impacted by the rising cost of living. The draft guidance covers how firms can support their customers including through automated processes and digital channels. It sets out the flexibility firms have when providing forbearance to those who need it, and the scope firms have to vary contract terms for other borrowers who want to reduce their monthly payments. The draft guidance should be read alongside the Handbook provisions in the Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook together with the FCA’s Tailored Support Guidance and June 2022 Dear CEO letter.
The deadline for comments on the consultation is 21 December 2022.
The FCA will continue to engage with firms to monitor how they are providing the support borrowers need and the outcomes they receive. The regulator will consider if there are further steps it can take to help firms to support their borrowers, including at scale.
On 7 December 2022, HM Treasury also issued a press release regarding a meeting the Chancellor had with major lenders and the FCA to discuss how lenders can support those who may encounter problems paying their mortgage.