Mortgages  

Lenders to allow clients to defer mortgage payments

Lenders to allow clients to defer mortgage payments

A number of high-street lenders are allowing borrowers to defer their mortgage payments if they are affected by the rapidly spreading coronavirus.

The coronavirus crisis, which began in China at the start of this year, reached the UK last week and the government has now confirmed more than 300 cases.

Mortgage lenders have rallied to support any virus-hit customer, offering to defer mortgage payments alongside a range of other measures.

The Royal Bank of Scotland is allowing mortgage and loan repayments to be deferred for up to three months, alongside temporary increased credit and cash withdrawal limits.

Other measures from RBS include allowing customers to close fixed savings accounts to access cash with no early closure charge and refunds on credit card cash advance fees.

FTAdviser understands the measures are not a blanket provision and will only apply to customers in financial difficulty.

The measures will apply to all RBS's brands, including Natwest and Ulster Bank.

An RBS spokesperson said: "We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.

"We have a strong track record in working with our customers who are affected by disruption outside of their control."

The spokesperson said there could be circumstances when the coronavirus triggered a loss of income, adding RBS would look to understand each customer's situation on a case-by-case basis.

Santander will also offer support to customers on a case-by-case basis, which includes the option to defer or reduce payments that are due, FTAdviser understands.

A spokesperson from Santander said: "Santander has a team of experts on hand to find ways in which we can support customers who have been impacted by the coronavirus."

The spreading crisis surrounding coronavirus has wiped billions off the stock markets, with the FTSE 100 experiencing its biggest weekly drop since 2011 last month.

imogen.tew@ft.com

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