On 8 October 2020, the FCA published a speech by Jonathan Davidson (FCA Executive Director of Supervision – Retail and Authorisations) entitled Mortgages and coronavirus – enabling positive consumer outcomes.
Key points in the speech include:
- The FCA is hearing from some firms a desire to move from the ‘crisis’ approach taken so far during coronavirus back to ‘business as usual’. This is understandable, but perhaps it is still rather unclear what the ‘new’ business as usual looks like.
- It remains as important as ever for firms to deliver outcomes that are right for the individual borrowers – rather than adopting ‘one size fits all’ solutions.
- The sheer number of borrowers that might need help in a short period of time will be a significant challenge. Some firms are proposing to deal with this through approaches which are more automated than the FCA would usually see for mortgage borrowers in payment difficulties. The FCA wants to see these automated approaches delivering appropriate outcomes, in a way that supports customer understanding and that more hands-on support is available for those that need it.
- Clear communications will be vital. Customers should be signposted to additional appropriate support where relevant and the firm can identify and act on customer vulnerability.
- Where customers follow a more automated journey the FCA wants them will to understand the implications of the option they agree to. Firms will need to monitor the outcomes so that they can act quickly to fix any issues and put them back in the right position.
- Over the coming months, the FCA will be looking at how firms have adapted to the challenges, and the outcomes received by consumers through supervisory ‘multi-firm’ work.