Credit Cards: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 11th May 2020.

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Photo of Carla Lockhart Carla Lockhart DUP, Upper Bann

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with credit card providers on waiving penalties for late payment for people self-isolating on medical grounds.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Regulatory responsibility for the consumer credit market, including credit cards, was transferred to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014.

On 14 April, the FCA published guidance that sets out its expectation that firms provide, for a temporary period, exceptional and immediate support to customers facing payment difficulties due to circumstances arising from COVID-19. This includes granting the customer a payment deferral for 3 months.

Where a customer was in pre-existing financial difficulty, the FCA’s guidance makes clear that its existing forbearance rules would continue to apply. These would include, for example, the firm considering suspending, reducing, waiving, or cancelling any further interest or charges, deferring payment of arrears, or accepting token payments for a reasonable period of time.

The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to get our nation through the impacts of COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the FCA and industry on these matters.

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