Support for Those With Credit Agreements Must Go Further

Consumers should not be charged interest during payment holiday.

The SNP has welcomed moves by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to introduce measures to support users of consumer credit products who face a financial impact from coronavirus.

Patricia Gibson MP (pictured) said the measures were “a welcome start” but called on the UK government and FCA to go further by – extending the payment holiday to six months, including all forms of credit, making it mandatory for credit providers, and charging zero interest and fees on all credit agreements during the payment holiday period.

The SNP Consumer Affairs spokesperson also called for a complete suspension of debt collection enforcement activity for the duration of the crisis.

Commenting, SNP Consumer Affairs spokesperson Patricia Gibson MP said:

“The measures announced by the FCA are a welcome start and must be introduced as soon as possible to help households who are struggling to manage credit agreements during this crisis.

“Millions of people are facing cuts to their incomes, and many are worried about how they will continue to meet payments on loans, credit cards, store cards, and other forms of credit.

“However, the UK government and FCA must go further by extending the payment holiday to six months, ensuring it covers all forms of credit, making it mandatory for credit providers, and crucially – ensuring zero interest and fees are charged on all credit products during this period to prevent people getting into unmanageable debt.

“There must also be a complete suspension of debt collection enforcement during the crisis so that no one dealing with financial difficulty, illness or both has the added pressure of enforcement action.

“While the lock down measures are vital to protecting our health, the UK government has a responsibility to support those who have been impacted financially as a result.

“People should not face mounting debts and bad credit ratings through no fault of their own.”