FCA expects 3-month finance freeze
17 April 2020
The FCA has revealed it expects motor finance firms to provide a three-month payment freeze to customers who are having temporary difficulties meeting finance or leasing payments due to coronavirus.
If customers are experiencing temporary financial difficulties due to coronavirus, firms should not take steps to end the agreement or repossess the vehicle.
In a statement issued this morning, 17 April, the FCA also proposed: “Firms should not change customer contracts in a way that is unfair. For example, firms should not try to use temporary depreciation of car prices caused by the coronavirus situation to recalculate PCP balloon payments at the end of the term. We will expect firms to act fairly where terms are adjusted.
“Where a customer wishes to keep their vehicle at the end of their PCP agreement, but does not have the cash to cover the balloon payment due to coronavirus-related financial difficulties, firms should work with the customer to find an appropriate solution.”
Christopher Woolard, interim chief executive at the FCA, said: “We are very aware of the continued struggle people are facing as a result of the pandemic. These measures build on the interventions we announced last week, and will provide much needed relief to consumers during these difficult times.
“We have tailored our measures to specific products. For most of these proposals, firms and consumers should consider the amount of interest which may build up, and balance this against the need for immediate temporary support. If a payment freeze isn’t in the customer’s interests, firms should offer an alternative solution, potentially including the waiving of interest and charges or rescheduling the term of the loan.”