On 17 January 2020, the FCA published a new webpage providing further data on the mortgage prisoner population.

Key findings include:

  • around 250,000 people are in closed mortgage books or have mortgages owned by firms that are not regulated by the FCA;
  • FCA research shows around 170,000 of these borrowers are up-to-date with payments and would be eligible to switch because of the new rules;
  • over half of the group that are eligible are paying interest of 3.5% or less. 39% are paying an interest rate of less than 3.0%;
  • of those eligible to switch, 40,000 have less than £50,000 to repay, many of whom have less than 10 years remaining on their mortgage;
  • both these sets of borrowers may find limited value in switching depending on the deals they find;
  • the FCA estimates around 14,000 eligible mortgage prisoners should be both likely to meet commercial lending criteria and stand to make a meaningful saving; and
  • this aligns with the estimates published in its consultation paper on changes to the responsible lending rules in October 2019.