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Sun, 31 May 2020

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BSA comments on today's announcements of support for mortgage borrowers

Building Societies Association

3 min read

Commenting on the announcements from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP and the FCA on support for mortgage borrowers, Robin Fieth, Chief Executive of the Building Societies Association (BSA) said:

“We welcome today’s announcements by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury and the FCA and the close collaboration between Treasury, lenders and regulators which has led to them.  Looking ahead we would encourage those borrowers who are able to pay to do so, as this will be to their own longer-term benefit.  However, borrowers can also be assured that there will be no cliff-edge moment as tailored support will be available for those who need it, whenever that may be. 

“Mortgage payment holidays will continue to be available until 31 October for those who have not had one.  We are pleased that there will be no automatic blanket extension to existing payment holidays as we do not believe extending payment holidays will be in the best interests of most borrowers, although individual extensions remain an option which may be right for some. 

 “Possession is always a last resort for lenders and with the extension of the repossessions moratorium, homeowners should also be reassured that they are secure in their own homes.

“Lenders will be contacting all borrowers with a repayment holiday before it comes to an end to lay out potential next steps and the support that is available.  Any borrower with concerns is encouraged to get in touch with their lender sooner rather than later.  Lenders will be working hard to provide support to all who need it as quickly as they can.”     

Consumer research

The BSA conducted consumer research with YouGov between 7 and 15 May to understand consumer views and likely behaviour.  The results from a sample of 439 homeowners and 65 landlords with a mortgage repayment holiday shows that:

Mortgage payment holidays have helped people in tough times with 90% saying that it has been fairly or very helpful and just 8% saying that it has been not very or not at all helpful.  More landlords say that it has not been helpful at 21%.

The majority (68%) of these borrowers are fairly or very confident that they will be able to meet their mortgage payments once their payment holiday ends. However, there are a substantial minority (27%) who are not very or not at all confident that they will be able to pay.  Lenders will target tailored support for these people in particular, to ensure that they get the help that they need.  Landlords seem to be less certain than homeowners with 34% not very or not at all confident that they will be able to pay.

The results indicate that the preferred repayment method for most is to repay over the remainder of their mortgage term with 53% of homeowners and 32% of landlords favouring this approach.  Amongst homeowners taking a mortgage holiday, 15% say that they would seek an extension to their payment holiday compared to 18% of landlords taking mortgage


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