Mortgages: Interest Rates

Treasury written question – answered at on 16 October 2023.

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Photo of Feryal Clark Feryal Clark Shadow Minister (Health and Social Care)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the impact of increases in mortgage interest rates on homeowners in (a) Enfield North constituency, (b) the London Borough of Enfield and (c) London.

Photo of Andrew Griffith Andrew Griffith The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The pricing and availability of mortgages is a commercial decision for lenders in which the Government does not intervene. However, we recognise this is a concerning time for mortgage borrowers.

The Prime Minister has been clear, the best and most important way that we can keep costs and interest rates down for people is to halve inflation, and then return it to the 2% target.

On Friday 23 June the Chancellor met with mortgage lenders, UK Finance and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to discuss how lenders will provide support for those who encounter problems keeping up with their mortgage payments. At this meeting, lenders agreed to a new Mortgage Charter to support borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments that was published on 26 June. The Charter sets out the standards signatory lenders will adopt when helping their customers, including new flexibilities to help customers manage their mortgage payments over a short period.

The Charter is in addition to the significant safeguards already in place for consumers in the mortgage market. Financial Conduct Authority rules require lenders to engage individually with their customers who are struggling or who are worried about their payments in order to provide tailored support. The Government has also taken measures aimed at helping people to avoid repossession, including Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) loans, protection in the courts through the Pre-Action Protocol, and the Housing Loss Prevention Advice Service (HLPAS).

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