To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the guidance recently published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on customers in temporary financial difficulty during the covid-19 outbreak, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with representatives of the FCA on the absence of specific guidance for vulnerable consumers in that publication.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing measures in the financial services sector to protect (a) people living with cancer and (b) other vulnerable consumers.
The Government is committed to doing whatever it takes to get our nation through this crisis and that includes supporting the most vulnerable in our society. To this end, the Government continues to work closely with financial services regulators as part of the economic response.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has introduced measures supporting consumers in financial difficulty at this time, and require firms to prioritise vulnerable consumers, including those with poor health.
In response, firms across the financial services sector have announced a range of measures to support vulnerable customers and the Government is working with the FCA to ensure there is continued support. For example, many firms have methods for trusted third-parties to access cash for vulnerable/self-isolating people, as well as setting up dedicated phone lines to support them.
Since the COVID-19 crisis has developed, the Government has also worked closely with the FCA on the introduction of payment deferral periods to provide support to consumers who are facing temporary cash flow problems as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.